I started FON, my new company in Spain. This is my third telecom/internet company in this country of 44 million people. I started Jazztel in 1998, today Spain´s second largest publicly traded telecom operator, and Ya.com, today Spain´s second largest internet site after Terra. But while Jazztel and Ya.com are very local, FON can be very global, like Skype. FON is the P2P of WIFI and I want to find the best way to launch FON around Europe and the rest of the world.

What is FON? Very simple. At FON we developed a software client that you download from the net and you install it in your wifi base station. At that moment your wifi gives you a password of your choice, but starts accepting all the other passwords of all the other FON members. FON is based on the premise that, with wifi now being 54MB on cable and DSL platforms of 1MB or more, wifi users are only taking advantage of 3% of their capacity on the average. Or in other words, wasting 97% of their capacity. At the same time, what users want is for their laptops, PDAs, wifi phones, and soon wifi enable ipods or wifi enable digital cameras, to access to everyone else´s wifi so they can walk around cities taking pictures, listening to music, playing games on wifi playstations, etc. And this we accomplish by turning millions of wifi installations into a unified wifi FON network with a standard interface to accept all kind of wifi enabled devices.

So what do I need? I have the funds to launch FON in other countries. I also have the software and the ad campaigns. What I need is local entrepreneurs/managers who want to launch FON in their countries. Also FON will have much more value if it´s global. Want to join me? Do write to me through this site. Tell me about your background and local resources. By the way, even though “FON” sounds like telecoms, FON is a tribe in Africa (google it) and joining FON is like becoming a member of a bandwidth sharing tribe. How do we make money doing this? Contact me and I will let you know.

Av Celular Fon.jpg

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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Chris Car on October 17, 2005  · 

This idea sounds very interesting, but I have one technical question: you said that your software is installed in wifi base stations. But how to you modifiy the firmware of, ie. a rather cheap Linksys access point? Ok, there is a modified firmware available for the Linksys WRT54g, but as far as I know it is not that easy to add software to it and you need a good technical background to modify the firmware… Did I understand your business model right? Or am I on a completely wrong path? ;-)

João on October 25, 2005  · 

Where can we find more details about the mechanisms/protocols used?

Handco on October 26, 2005  · 

FON is the same principe as NoCat ?

John Norrer on October 26, 2005  · 

As I understand it, there will be an option of reselling my bandwidth (a “Bill”). How will you manage that when most ISPs explicitly do not allow sharing beyond the household, and even less so allow for making money off the connection?

Regards,
John

Eric Henderson on November 9, 2005  · 

Sounds Great! I’m in the US – Wichita, Kansas – and am deploying a similar idea here – let’s join forces…

Email me or call me at 1-316-518-9350 in the US.

Christer on November 11, 2005  · 

I heard Martins presentation of FON at the SIME conference in Stockholm earlier this week. What a great idea!!

Go FON!!

Fenix on November 13, 2005  · 

It’s an interesting idea, but how will the legal issue of someone doing something illegal using my accesspoint affect the person owning the access point?

Juan on November 23, 2005  · 

> By the way even though FON sounds like
> telecoms FON is a tribe in Africa
> (google it) and joining FON is like
> becoming a member of a bandwidth
> sharing tribe.

I did google it, here is what I found:
After conquering numerous small coastal states, the Fon monopolized the region’s slave trade resulting in phenomenal economic gains. The income helped to support the wealth of the King whose power was absolute.

Juan

Janine M Lodato on July 9, 2006  · 

There is great potential for a FON network in each and every of the 40,000 rural communities in the USA supported by USDA grants.

This would aid the 100 million elderly, disabled and
chronically ill and their 44 million informal caregivers.

I have a detailed proposal how to do this.

Please contact me directly by email.

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