Our FON labs in Barcelona have just released a beta of the FON software for Macs that we are testing internally. Basically, what this download will do is turn any Mac into a FONspot. Say you go to a conference and they want to charge you $20 for WiFi or, in some cases, the WiFi may be free but, as it happened in LeWeb 3, there´s practically no connectivity cause there´s too much usage. Well what you can do is connect your Mac to a 3G, EVDO or HSDPA connection (some carriers may not allow this, pls check) and offer FON WiFi to many around u and be one popular person. You can then regulate how much bandwidth you share so you are not depleted yourself. Your bandwidth will then be free to FONeros and cost 3 euros first day and 2 euros/dollars thereafter for non FONeros of which as a Bill you can make 50% of it.

I tested the software and it works. We are working on improvements now so we can show useful things to the FONero as how many people are connected to you. Presently, you can do this with a Mac and offer open WiFi, which is nice. But with FON you can do this in an organized fashion and (if local regulations allow) make money out of it. We will release the Mac FONspot software in mid April. If you would like to be a beta tester pls write to Albert.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Glenn Fleishman on January 26, 2007  · 

There are no carriers in the US that allow the resale of cell data bandwidth. Most don’t allow any sharing of any sort–free or otherwise–except when bundled with specific business offerings. Enforcement is tricky, of course. How can a carrier know you’re doing this? They’d have to monitor your traffic, or use Fon-authentication hits as an excuse for canceling your service, which seems unlikely.

Dabis Camero on January 27, 2007  · 

Excellent Martin!

I would love to test the software soon. This idea and implementation have great potential. I’m pretty sure there are a lot features that need to be improved and added… let us know if we can help!

It is good to know that the US is not the only market in the world.

Kind Regards,

- Dabis

Dan on January 27, 2007  · 

I don’t know why but its fine sharing the home DSL, not so much the EvDo (even if it’s flat and nippy enough to serve more than three clients). My connection is flat rate but still.
Granted, I share it anytime I get the chance through the Airport sharing tool.

Mike on January 27, 2007  · 

Martin,

Wi-fi is not inherently scalable to hundreds of users. Having multiple cellular links to the Net won’t help much, the issue is too many wi-fi units in the same place = congestion (cellular links in general are much more scalable in this regard as they are designed for hundreds or thousands of users.)

jose alarcon on January 27, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,

this is a nice idea. But considering that nowadays more and more phones come with wifi, why not to make a symbian version? Imagine to have a fonera in your pocket!

christian on April 26, 2007  · 

Now it is the end of April and there is still no software. I’m looking forward to your fonspot for my macbook! When this nice software will arive?

Martin Varsavsky on April 26, 2007  · 

Christian,

Our labs already released a beta version. You can find it here http://english.martinvarsavsky.net//new-fonspot-software-for-mac-and-linux-just-released.html

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