Not releasing specifics, a spokesperson for Atheros mentioned that a phone with such a feature would be released sometime this year. This is certainly a step up in cell phone functionality, and sounds like it has some promise. In particular, it could make traveling with your phone and using it as a way to get online easier, letting you leave the cell phone on a charger or away from you while still making use of its Internet connectivity on a laptop.
There are advantages of this scenario over current offerings. Most smartphones offer some form of tethering option, which allows a single computer to get online using a cellular data plan. And most providers offer a data card, also all offering the same, again with the one-machine limit. While certainly not as useful as a traditional Internet connection with a wireless router, it's a very handy tool - and one that might drive people more towards using cell service for Internet.