Today I am in Belgium to announce Fon’s partnership with Belgacom, a great company with fixed and mobile operations in a country of 11 million people. Together with the largest telco company in Belgium we will build the largest WiFi community in Belgium and extend Fon’s WiFi footprint, currently with more than 4 million hotspots all over the world. But this is not only an important day for Belgacom’s customers and Foneros. It’s an important day for Fon as it shows the world again that some of the leading telcos in the world realize that Fon can help them to provide a better mobile user experience for their customers if they join our WiFi community.

This partnership is also more proof that, as I explain in this post from 2010, operators are increasingly realizing the power of WiFi in order to provide a better user experience and to offload the enormous amount of data traffic that is congesting their mobile networks. The growth in demand for mobile bandwidth is far outpacing the growth in capacity, with people now spending more time using mobile apps than surfing the web.

Since our first partnership with BT in the UK in 2007, interest in Fon from fixed and mobile telcos and hardware manufacturers has ballooned. In the past years we have demonstrated what we knew all along – that we can help our partners to provide a service which their subscribers appreciate… and thereby help them to reduce CAPEX, decrease churn, attract new customers, differentiate and freshen up their brand image. And today, six years after starting from scratch, we are talking to big telco incumbents in different countries. We’re thrilled to now be working with Belgacom, and though I can’t say specifically with whom Fon will partner next, I can say that this probably won’t be the last partnership we get to announce this year.

Update: here’s what the media is saying about our new partnership:

http://eu.techcrunch.com/2011/06/28/fon-creates-largest-wifi-network-in-belgium-heres-an-awesome-graphic-to-explain-why/

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,15194360,00.html

http://www.zdnet.be/news/129013/belgacom-rolt-4g-uit/ for my Belgian readers 🙂

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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