People who are interested in sharing excess bandwidth at home or work and obtaining bandwidth elsewhere have found in FON the right free wifi roaming platform and are downloading our software. But is FON doable? How many broadband connections do we need for FON to provide reliable wifi signal around the world? Surprisingly not that many. Nowadays the largest hotspot networks, T Mobile, Boingo, The Cloud, Orange, Vodafone, have fewer than 20,000 hotspots each. FON just launched and we have had over 1000 downloads in a week. That is 5% of the largest wifi hotspot networks. Skype to give an example of a much more established platform has around 150,000 downloads per day for a total so far of 200 million according to their site. But while FON is more complicated than Skype to download many less foneros are needed for FON to give a great wifi experience than skyperos to give Skype a great user experience. For Skype to succeed millions of people need to be on Skype. But one fonero can give coverage to half a city block and that is equivalent to thousands of people who live or pass by. Our estimates are that 1 million foneros around the world or around 1% of the people would be enough to give a global wifi signal. An ambitious but reachable goal.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Ariel on December 4, 2005  · 

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