Fon’s WiFi network is by far the largest in Japan with over a million hotspots of which over half a million are on at any one time. Normally the Fon network is free to those who share WiFi (known as Foneros) and other users pay. Given the current emergency in Japan, and the failure of some mobile networks as a result of the earthquake, Fon has decided to open our network to all of those in Japan. The software changes required are being worked on at our headquarters in Madrid and will be ready in an estimated 3 hours or around 6pm Spanish time. Japan is 7 hours ahead of us so it will be around 1am in Japan when all our hotspots are open to the general public. We hope those stranded or in need find the Fon network useful. We also encourage owners of Fon WiFi routers who may not have their Fon WiFi routers (Foneras) connected to connect them to help anyone who may need connectivity. All this is being done in collaboration with our friends at Softbank who currently distribute Foneras in Japan. We would like to send our condolences to the families of those who died in this sad tragedy and wish all in Japan a quick recovery from this natural disaster.
Update: Work done in Madrid, the Fon WiFi network in Japan is now open for all to use until the emergency is over. I would like to thank our colleagues at Softbank, our engineers in Spain and above all the Japanese foneros who make this possible.
- Fon Makes Entire Wi-Fi Network Free In Japan (gigaom.com)
- Japan Gets Free Wi-Fi From FON Until Quake Emergency Ends (nytimes.com)
- Fon ended 2010 with 3.35 million WiFi hotspots, €28 million in revenues (eu.techcrunch.com)
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars
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