I am glad to announce a FON has just signed an agreement with Comstar, the main telecom operator in Russia, a partnership similar to those we have with BT in the UK and in other countries with other operators.

Comstar and FON will jointly develop a Wi-Fi internet access network in Russia, initially focusing on Comstar’s subscribers in Moscow, who will be able to easily join the FON Community. Comstar plans to establish 30,000 Wi-Fi access points in Moscow in 2008-2009 before expanding to other regions.

Comstar’s users will be able to rent La Fonera routers, connect them to their Internet connection and join the FON network. Like other Foneros, they will be able to roam for free in any place covered by FON, including the Comstar-FON network, using personal login and password details for Comstar’s DSL network. People who are not Foneros (we call them Aliens) will be able to access Comstar-FON’s network using pre-paid cards, SMS or the usual options available on our captive portal.

Russia is particularly interesting for me: three of my grandparents used to speak Russian and during high school I was known as “el ruso”. However I’ve never been to Russia, even though Sistema, Russia’s biggest telecom company, is one of FON’s shareholders. I’ll be there for the Comstar-FON launch party and I’ll let you know my impressions on this country.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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danissimo on June 5, 2008  · 

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