This week, FON will unveil the newest Fonera WiFi device at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Visit us at booth 2EZ19. The new Fonera SIMPL features the speed of 802.11n, a powerful, detachable antenna increasing reach, sleek design and tiny enclosure. It will be available to the public in May for 39€ and will give users easy, fast and affordable access to the world’s largest WiFi community.

The FON network is growing fast. We surpassed 1 million hotspots in December 2009 and we continue to add close to 100,000 new FON Spots each month. This growth comes from our users who activate their Foneras and from our partners, including BT, ZON Portugal, SFR, and Comstar Russia, who build FON functionality into their own WiFi routers.

Now, with the Fonera SIMPL, we have developed an even better WiFi device. We named it SIMPL for two reasons. First, because it has only FON’s core functionality of creating two WiFi signals – one for public and one for private use. It does not have any of the Fonera 2.0n features. Second, because we are working on a series of improvements to make the registration and connection process with mobile devices as simple as possible. Yesterday, WiFi was all about laptops. The future of WiFi is all about e-books, tablets and smartphones. We are working to optimize the FON experience on these devices.

The target group for the Fonera SIMPL is individuals who want to join the FON community by buying a great WiFi router. But we’re also distributing this Fonera to mobile operators who will bundle it with their smartphones to help offload 3G traffic. We have distributed test models already to mobile operators and they like it.

Here’s a sneak peek…

FONERA_SIMPL

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

David on February 11, 2010  · 

When the Fonera 2.0 was released, none of the great funcions worked at all. Fon fixed some problems and released the 2.0N (even with more problems). At fonosfera we dont know anything about new firmwares to solve the router problems and the “what a router should be doing” problems.

Now this new fonera and “It does not have any of the Fonera 2.0n features”, why? Do you thing any of the 2.0g, 2.0n owners are gonna buy? What about giving explanations about the money we spent with fon?

alex on February 12, 2010  · 

David,

the Fonera 2.0n is an innovative and very feature-rich WiFi router. It does things no other WiFi router in the world does and we are proud of having brought this router to the market. We have many users who are very happy with the Fonera 2.0n and who use it daily to up-and download files to the net hassle-free.
But, we do indeed have some reported bugs with some of the features, and apologize to users experiencing issues. We are working very hard to fix bugs and shall release another firmware update soon. Please be patient till the next update comes.

The Fonera Simpl is a different concept. It is basically replacing the Fonera Plus, but is faster, has wider reach and a different (nicer :-)) design.

alex on February 12, 2010  · 

sorry … in case not clear from the post. I forgot to mention that i do work for FON!

Steven on February 12, 2010  · 

The Fonera Simpl only supports wifi Nlite (150mbps) ?
will it have gigabit connectors & support for bridge? most pc’s & laptops have gigabit and with only 2 ports it’s nice to put it between your fixed pc and cable/adsl modem…

Will it have support for the Fontenna?

Will you replace the fonera+ with this device? will you update the “fonera gets fonera” deal (-10 euro on invites from foneros to new foneros)? will it have thesame price as a fonera+ (current European FONshop prices 40 euro fonera+, 60 euro fonera 2.0g, 99euro fonera 2.0n incl shipping & taxes)

will it support ipv6 out of the box ?

Steven on February 12, 2010  · 

Does it have an Atheros or Ralink chipset?
Will it also run “fon-ng” firmware and allow for 3rd party “plugins” or will it be dumber than any other router on the market like the fonera+?

Norman on February 12, 2010  · 

Don’t buy FON routers!!! Check out http://blog.fonosfera.org/young-rudolph-passed-away/. See how they do NOT AT ALL care about costumers and how absolutely poor their firmware support and communication is, on their own official developer blog!

Sunni on February 12, 2010  · 

Norman,

thank you to be honest! Since more than 2 month I can not use this very very useless router I have bouth 2.5 month ago!
I do not beleve that there are users that are happy with a router you have to reboot 20 times a day!

So also without using any of the even more buggi features, the router is not useable for a say private productive system!

Kyros on February 12, 2010  · 

yes – be aware and take care!see what FON did for their current top product (La Fonera 2.0n):… seems they droped firmware development since dec.2009?… seems they don’t see it as their duty anymore to carry on?… seems it’s their own decision to “waste” time for this?… seems their boss martin didn’t check anything since months?… seems they don’t feel unconfortable at all delivering buggy work to the buying customers?all togehter a well formed image of the dev-space@FON!for the other released procucts there had been less updating support done (means nothing) in the last months.so based on these expieriences don’t expect a functional working new product or any professional support.but the design is nice…regards, Kyros

Kyros on February 12, 2010  · 

commands doesn’t work here either…

Denis on February 12, 2010  · 

Congratulations! I really love my current Fonera and I’m looking forward to it.

simon on February 12, 2010  · 

Oh, c´mon Mr. Varsavsky… you have the imagination and you have the money. So show the world that you are different. Do not milk the cash-cow – which is the unknowing mass of potential soon to be customers – dry like there is no tomorrow. But instead, care for those who brought you this far: those who already own a 2.0g/n. An update on the work in progress (hopefully) concearning a new firmware would be most appreciated; the fonosfera-blog seems deserted since mid-december.

Sunni on February 12, 2010  · 

they have worked also over christmas, do be not unhappy it will arive asap ;-) oww sorry it is already february….

Sunni on February 12, 2010  · 

since end of december (is the time I take out my fonera 2n) my apple router is running without any interuption!!

Sunni on February 12, 2010  · 

I’m a fon user since the beginning, sorry I was… we fon is going into the death? Are they quit the work and have the give up fon? If not they will have to do it, till all user are gone…

Steven on February 12, 2010  · 

21th september firmare 2.3.0 & Fonera 2.0n launched; no more visible work is done… bug reports are being added, people are reporting in on irc channel with issues…
1-14 december the Fonosfera team is back together and try to create firmware 2.3.5 … after 2 RC candidates they gave up… never to be heard from them again

at the moment bug counter is set at #547 with mostly issues like “reboots”, “bad wifi” , … mostly iPhone users have issues…

Mike on February 12, 2010  · 

FON, get your act together and fix/finish the Fonera 2.0n Firmware first before launching yet another product!!! How about starting by commenting on the issues here?

Steven on February 12, 2010  · 

@mike : please check also comments here : http://the-gadgeteer.com/2010/01/09/la-fonera-2-0n-wireless-router-review/

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

Thank you Steven, there are many reviews, many professional reviews of the Fonera that are as realistic and positive as that one. I don’t understand what happens in my blog with all these negativity. Of course we have things to improve and we are dong this but we don’t deserve this incredibly harsh criticism to one of the only Southern European companies designing a global gadget.

Kyros on February 12, 2010  · 

If you buy a FON router as non productive device to play around in your spare time – OK.

But if you expect:
– a professional device with a properly developed firmware.
– a responsive product support which don’t breakaway after a year.
– a honest and fair community partner in partnership.
Don’t choose FON!

Regards, Kyros

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

The customer care team seats outside my office. I see them work incredibly hard. We are a small Spanish company servicing the whole world with over a million daily users. Your comments are insensitives to the realities of operating a global business.

Kyros on February 12, 2010  · 

But the new one has a nice design…

AustinTX on February 12, 2010  · 

So we’re back to square one-point-five with a one-WAN one-LAN, non-meshing non-bridging router. It seems this “return to simplicity” is really because few people found Fon to be dependable and trustworthy enough to buy more expensive merchandise from them. It would be like buying a $100,000 Toyota.There are many indications that Fon makes the bulk of it’s (non-investor) income from merchandise sales, so it must find something that they can indeed sell. $20-$30 for a basic router is an easier commitment for cautious customers to make than $80-$120 boondoggle with perpetually unstable firmware. Perhaps more customers will disregard 4 years (btw- you forgot your birthday this weekend, Fon) of negative feedback from the Fonero Community, posted in the well-hidden boards and disavowed blogs, and make such an impulse buy.Hey, Mr. Martin Varsavsky, CEO of “one of the world’s most open companies” (your words): If Fon has a million hotspots now, pray tell, how many paying Aliens log onto the Fon Network at least once a day? Please exclude multiple logons and free connections, thx. This is your chance to demonstrate how lucrative a Fonero franchise with Fon is. Or not.

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

Anyone, and I mean anyone, our harshest critic is invited to come and see us at Fon, see how we work, see who we are, see our data except of course Fonero data that is confidential like personal data and so on. We work our ASS OFF every day, Fon employees even more than I do. And other than the extremely demanding commentators in my blog we have millions who are happy with the service. Why? I guess people who are happy don’t have anything to say.

burton-ng on February 12, 2010  · 

This is really sad that not only you forgot 2.0n users but also 2.0g users…
Reaaaly dissapointed user…

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

I already answered this question.

Eddie303 on February 12, 2010  · 

Shame on you, Martin! If you release a product, you should support it for at least 5 years after the release. Will not buy anything from FON, unless they pay me to get their stuff. So much waffle and no performance!

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

We should support the product 5 years after the release? If you are talking about the G fonera it works pretty well and we offered discounts to get the N product that also works pretty well and we are improving every day.

luis on February 12, 2010  · 

I am very frustated with whit what I got with the fonera 2.0n Now I see that instead of solving the firmware problems you focus on other products… frustration is increasing :(

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

Luis, very constructive comments. Gracias, muchas gracias. Thanks for helping us understand what is it that makes it impossible for you to use a product that I use every day.

lixxus on February 13, 2010  · 

the only way i can see fon selling these new routers is if they entice people by giving them for free as they did with the original 2100 model, but even then i doubt people would take them.

fon what a dissapointment

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

We gave away for free around 15 million euros worth of routers. Sorry if we don’t sell them we die. Fortunately we sell many now and are profitable. We have not yet recovered the 34 million we lost so far but we are making progress. What you don’t understand is that for most people Foneras work well. They share wifi, they make money, they are a buffer to the cloud in some cases. We know they work because we see the connections every day.

Seth on February 13, 2010  · 

Take note of how no mention is made whatsoever of the Fonera 2.0g or its beleaguered buyers.

Fon, you have *legions* of disappointed and unhappy Fonera 2.0g and Fonera 2.0n owners. Pretending that only a handful of people have complained about the stability of either device just plain insults our intelligence and destroys your credibility.

Have any of you even *heard* of the book “The Cluetrain Manifesto”? Someone there should read it. You’re running handling your customers like a big dumb clueless corporation from 1992.

Whoever manages FON customer relations should be FIRED immediately and replaced by someone who knows what they are doing.

And start showing your loyal 2.0g and 2.0n buyers some love, dammit. Release a stable firmware before rushing to the next bug-ridden product to the market. You’re shooting yourselves in the foot by launching products in this manner, don’t you freakin

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

We have offered g buyers discounts to upgrade to N routers. We have working g routers that do have some bugs but work. We cannot spend more developing resources on upgrading G routers. But they are open source and anyone can reflash them. We are sorry about that but we are less than 40 people.

sunni on February 13, 2010  · 

Seth,

they not only shooting in the foot but even more in the heard and head together!

Has someone realy heard anything since mid of december about the asap comming release?

FON:
We all are still locking in to this kind of forum, so it means we still have a little hope on you community.

Try to hold this small rest of the community that you have at least 10 fonero left!

Please please please ……..
Mister Varsavski:
Do you not shame by yourself by writing this kind of pack of lies?

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

What shames me is to work so hard and be hated. What shames me is to be up at 6 am on a Saturday trying to understand why people tolerate say a mobile service whose phone calls frequently get cut off and they are billed anyway but when we have a minor flaw we get this type of hate mail. What pains me is comments like the ones I am getting. But I do know that most people are happy with their routers.

Barbon on February 13, 2010  · 

The fon comunity is making a lot of lie, and he do it only for making money easy, he don’t have interest to make the comunity happy!!!!

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

Fon has so far lost 34 million euros, a significant part my own money. Fon lost this money mostly subsidizing routers or even giving them away for free. We now had our first profitable quarter. We are less than 40 hard working people, we do what we can and we have over a million fonspots active right now. And we do whatever we can to make the community happy. Indeed if there are developers who really can fix our bugs faster and we will try to engage them.

Michal on February 13, 2010  · 

I’m really disappointed with this move of FON.

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

Again, negativity. I don’t know how to answer. You are disappointed because we got a huge order for our SIMPL model and decided to make it? The SIMPL model is a model with autoconnectors for many many gadgets that simply shares wifi. Its a better version of the fonera 1.0 our original model which by the way I still have functioning in different places and works very well. Who else sells you a router that makes you money and allows you to roam for free? The SIMPL is just like the Fonera 1.0 but N and better firmware.

iGadgetman on February 13, 2010  · 

Disapointing. It’s time to switch off my Fonera 2.0g and 2.0n for the outside world. Lack of promised firmware updates and support are to blame.

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

You bought a g and n router for a price that others sold routers that are just that, devices for connecting to wifi, and for that you got routers that do that, that share wifi, that make the world a better place, that allow you to save money, and whose bugs we certainly try to fix. We have not updated the 2.0 firmware because our developers are extremely busy with a huge order we got to make the Fonera SiMPL, but we will update the 2.0N firmware as soon as we can and in the meantime we have many users who have them on every day and get value out of them.

Voorstad on February 13, 2010  · 

Martin says:
“We surpassed 1 million hotspots in December 2009″.
>> Ever tried to find a working one?

“It does not have any of the Fonera 2.0n features.”
>> The FON 2.0n is not even capable of “SIMPLy” connecting an iPhone……

“because it has only FON’s core functionality of creating two WiFi signals”
>> FON 2.0N Young Rudoplh wasn’t even capable doing this…….

“individuals who want to join the FON community”
>> You mean the frustrated few like the people above? Did you read the frustration of the community?

For years I hoped, as a Fon, Fon+ and Fon2.0N owner FON would live up to their promisses. I always disliked AustinTX comments and negative approach. Since the lack of proper firmware, communication and now a new product, I see him as a FON visionary….. It’s a pitty. My next euro’s will only go to a real open router.

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

I use Fon routers every day of my life, that is what I have. I use them with Nexus One, with iPhone, with Blackberries with Netbooks. Indeed I have a test netbook that has Ubuntu, Jolicloud, Windows XP, and even Hackintosh and I connect to the Foneras without problems. Yes, we are a company of less than 40 people with ambitious goals and our software has bugs but so has all software, and our developers work amazing hours to fix these bugs, and try and sometimes fail as they did with Young Rudolph. But we try to improve and give a better service every day.

Kyros on February 13, 2010  · 

@ Seth and other fellow Foneros (this is a copy o a comment I already made in the fonosfera blog):

Unfortunately that’s a misunderstanding which a lot of us Foneros make:
Foneros are no customers – we don’t pay to FON for services. Thus customers are aliens, ISPs who are paying partners, companies who are paying for having their services whitelisted on the La Fonera hotpspot network and so on…
But Foneros are no FON-members as well (we are not employees of the companies) so there is no reason to share internal information with us Foneros and to include us into their decisions – that’s why they don’t.
We are provider of infrastructure in the last meaning of our functoin and there is only as much attraction and information provided into our direction so that we keep the infrastruction up and running which they need to make their business.

To follow the meaning of the words above this says that as long the missing frmware does not influence the infrastructure (which in reality is almost gone ;-) ) they will not move just because we have no proper uptodate firmware.

Martin Varsavsky on February 13, 2010  · 

Fon is building the largest WiFi network in the world with a simple method, you share a little WiFi at home and you get two benefits, roaming for free when you connect with other Foneros and make money when others connect to you. That is the core value proposition of Fon, then there’s a secondary proposition and that is that in some cases, when you buy a 2.0 router, you can do what I said above plus have a router that is a buffer to the cloud and helps you upload and download, it also helps you convert 3G to WiFi. And we have sold around 23,000 of these type of routers.

sunni on February 13, 2010  · 

Mister Varsvsky:

So you will get new foneros and this is the reason why you disregard the old, longtime and faithfull foneror?? Is this what you have sayd in your last comments??

Then believe me, this will be your first and lat quarter, where you had profit!

Again and again the router I bought was cheap (in any case..), but it was not for free and it is not working. So I had to buy a other one (apple) that was more expensive but it works perfect! So I had thought the money from the fon router out of the windows. So what I do have from a cheap router that is not working?

May be you have to sent me your 2n router that is working…. but siance I saw that many comment on all the forums etc. it is hard to believe you!

I need a router, that is working all the time and not one that reboots 20-30 times a day. And evern worse, that after a reboot it will not come up.

How should I provide services with a router like this? How can I provide the fonero community my bandwith with a router that is not running?

Maby if you can give as a date, when a working firmware is here, we are not any longer that frustrated! But asap – and after almost two month without something – is not what we expect!

John G on February 13, 2010  · 

My experience with Fonera was slightly tarnished by the original Fonera (bought 2nd hand), which used to crash and stop working randomly every week or so (and I sometimes only found out by the emails you send saying its been offline for >2 days already). So I put a timer switch to reboot it every night at 4am or something.

But the new Fonera 2.0n has been rock solid (even with the latest stable dev firmware) and fast speeds, great range (covers the whole flat yay – old one definitely fell off in the kitchen), and now has enough reach to hit the main street so more users than I used to. I had a home-built free-antenna on my original one to try and accomplish the same thing, that kinda helped.

Not needed to reboot it since I had it, which is several months – ‘cept for moving which room it was in (and now saves me keeping my PC on to be the print server for me/my partners laptop).

Great work on 2.0n; really really wanting the wireless connection method so its easy to carry on working via the friendly neighbour’s wifi / another BT Openzone nearby (maybe that might need a plugin) when my ISP/ADSL has spaz moments and breaks temporarily.

steven on February 13, 2010  · 

@Martin … it seems you didn’t read the fonera 2.0n reviews : “However, I want to say many of the primary features have worked well with either firmware with the exception of wireless

so “wireless” is not a primary feature of FON….

Voorstad on February 13, 2010  · 

Martin: “Fon 2.0N is working well.”
Community: “No it isn’t.”
Martin:”Yes it is”
Community: No, it isn’t”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teMlv3ripSM

Mike on February 13, 2010  · 

@Martin: if you don’t have a commenting system where you can comment a comment, you better specify who’s comment your are answering, otherwise some comments such as “I have already answered that question” don’t make much sense…

Luis FON on February 13, 2010  · 

My name is Luis and I work for FON. I would like to explain this HW release so that you have a better understanding.

The Fonera SIMPL was conceived taking into account inputs from a big part of the FON community, who after we released the Fonera 2.0 routers, asked FON not to forget about basic models and reintroduce simple routers (Like the Fonera and Fonera+ routers) while continue to develop these more featured Web 2.0 routers.

This new Fonera is exactly what those community members are looking for: a convenient, simple to install and use 802.11n (b/g/n to be more precise) router with great WiFi connectivity and coverage (and in my personal opinion a very cool design).

I know the FON community is very diverse and is to be expected; different people have different needs. For those who love the Fonera 2.0 concept (I’m on this group) I want to make clear that this new router does not mean the end but rather a new beginning… we have learned a lot creating this little new router and that knowledge will be used for improving Fonera 2.0, and just like we did not forget those community friends who love the idea of a basic router, we have not forgotten Foneros who want more and support the Fonera 2.0. To these last I would like to say that we are sorry for any errors in the current Fonera 2.0 firmware. We apologize to all users who have ever experienced issues and for any inconvenience caused. I know the main features work, but we also try to iron out issues which users encounter.

Ricardo Silva on February 13, 2010  · 

Martin: “Fon 2.0N is working well.”
Community: “No it isn’t.”
Martin:”Yes it is”
Community: No, it isn’t”

How true!
I bought 2.0n in a hope to increase the wifi signal of my router… and get a better signal in my pcs… but 4 months later, my Fonera 2.0n is doing nothing but harvesting dust, since its wifi doesn’t work for more than 5 mins. Horrible!
I had to give up… The device is totally useless to me, because it forces me to use LAN instead of WAN. What a crap!
I’ve been waiting for the freaking firmware since November. I’m starting to lose my hope, though.
Apparently, I just sent 79€ into the trashbin. That’s what it feels like…

fdiez on February 13, 2010  · 

Martin,

You say you only have 40 people, and you’re based in Spain. Last time I checked Spain had Europe’s largest unemployment, 19% (and that is the official figure). Why not hire more people? Or if Spanish labor laws are too rigid or not that ‘friendly’ then outsource more.

I assume you already manufacture in China, right? If you’re not producing world-class software what does Fon actually do? Marketing? Design? Business development deals with large operators to fast-track your shipping of boxes? Why did you give Fon routers away? Were they not good enough to seel by themselves? or was that just a quick marketing move to make noise? At least Google is giving away the Nexus One just to thought leaders and opinion makers (TED, WEF, etc) – and that is Google, a ‘fairly known’ brand.

Not having enough people and being a startup is no longer an acceptable response for one of Europe’s best funded technology companies (http://www.crunchbase.com/company/fon) with EUR34m. It sounds like you’re trying to look frugal in front of your investors… that is good if you’re hitting sales targets, which I’m sure you are exceeding by now, but is it sustainable without a sound medium-to-long term customer proposition?

Maybe your B2C and B2B strategies are colliding? When I bought my Fonera 2.0n, which is a great piece of hardware, I was somewhat confused and disappointed with the software, and certainly with the speed at which you provide upgrades – if you do it at all. Shall I refrain from buying any Fon products until I can see a sound and reliable company behind the product? If I buy from BT at least I know I’ll get a post-sale customer service and software upgrades regularly.

Martin, you are brilliant at understanding customers’ needs, but you are also excellent at hyping products. I only wonder how much bigger – and successful – Fon could be by now if you really focused on building a world-class product company beyond the hype.

Wish my best wishes for a Happy New Year of the Tiger to all the readers of this blog and best of luck for the Fon team in the future!

alex on February 13, 2010  · 

@voorstad and Ricardo,

Ricardo, what must have happened to you (and may be many others), is that you upgraded to a Beta-Firmware named Rudolph. That one we never released into Alpha! So, by downgrading the firmware, you should be able to fix the WiFi issue. If you need help, let us know.

Also, we are working on a new firmware.

alex
(from FON)

Voorstad on February 13, 2010  · 

Hi Alex. Nice to see that suddenly Fon awakens on this Blog. On the blog.fonosfera and irc channel it was as if not only young Rudolph, but also Fon had passed away……

I indeed run the young Rudoph Alpha firmware on the Fon 2.0N. I have no other Fon option. The original firmware could not give me a stable connection with my Laptop (Broadcom chipset), whatever I tried (latest wifi driver, other fixed channels, no mixed b/g settings etc.). The brandnew FON router would only collect dust then. Young Rudolph gives me a at least more stable connection, although only 54 Mbps, while I actually did buy a 802.11N router….. I hope. I do remember it was advertised as such.

Ricardo Silva on February 13, 2010  · 

@alex: No, I never installed the Beta-Firmware merely because lots of people were reporting problems.
I’ve been using the original Firmware, which seemed to be only option… but it’s not an option as well:
– It forces me to have the Fonera 2.0n linked by cable to my router, which was not what I intended when I bought it.
I wanted Fonera 2.0n to connect my router via WAN and I wanted to use Fonera’s Wi-Fi with my PCs.
That has never worked. I’ve got the Fonera on, but I don’t even use it. It’s just there for decoration, really. I keep using my Router’s weak WiFi, which is still much better than Fonera’s almost unexisting WiFi… :-(

Kyros on February 13, 2010  · 

@ martin:

Only because most of the Foneros has left meanwhile and don’t react anymore you cannot claim that they are happy. They are all gone! You never published field tests for finding accessible FON-Hotspots and you know why. Please stopp telling tales.

People are disapointed and negative because FON doesn’t communicate professionell and in partnership, FON stops delveloping at max. 70% task fulfillment and FON drops product-support faster than the year is over. So why you are surprised?

How about finishing the work properly before dropping the tools and change to the next attraction?

Regards, Kyros

Gus on February 14, 2010  · 

Verguenza torera Martin.

Llevo con fon desde el principio, pero ahora la verdad es que me siento estafado, tengo 3 foneras 2.0g y una 2.0n y todas ellas están en sus cajas. Las G de lo malo malo funcionan, y hacen lo que tienen que hacer, aunque no todo lo bien que deberían. Pero la N es imposible de utilizar, todos mis equipos son Apple, y como seguro que sabes no puedo conectar durante mas de 5 minutos.

Me he comunicado con asiduidad con IURGI, y mantenía la esperanza de poder solucionar mis problemas, pero ahora vas y dejas caer que el desarrollo esta parado. Ya se que montaste una empresa para ganar dinero, pero sinceramente esto me parece una estafa, como bien dicen por ahí arriba tienes la obligación de dar soporte a tus productos al menos durante los 5 años posteriores al cese de fabricación. Así que por mi parte creo que voy a empezar a tratar con la asociación de consumidores para ver que puedo hacer, no quiero tener mi dinero desaprovechado, así que tratare de devolveros el producto o que solucionéis los problemas que hacen que no funcionen correctamente. No quiero esperar a ver si en Junio tenéis tiempo y actualicéis la fonera 2.0N, me gustaría disfrutar de internet antes.

Un saludo

Kyros on February 14, 2010  · 

Martin wrote:

We should support the product 5 years after the release? If you are talking about the G fonera it works pretty well and we offered discounts to get the N product that also works pretty well and we are improving every day.

No No No!
Customers doesn’t have to buy a new product from you to keep the service support and functionality. Where from do you have such ideas?
Martin wrote:

I use Fon routers every day of my life, that is what I have. I use them with Nexus One, with iPhone, with Blackberries with Netbooks. Indeed I have a test netbook that has Ubuntu, Jolicloud, Windows XP, and even Hackintosh and I connect to the Foneras without problems.

Did you as the boss receive your 2.0g or 2.0n router from the devs or did you pick one (or more than one) grab sample from the routers which were decided for the consumers? Did you made all setting yourself? Did you test all features successfully without help from the devs? ;-)
Evidentially all FON’s beta tester activities has been shut down since the feedbacks couldn’t been handled by the devs. Is it your concept for professionell development to productive test in the field of paying consumers? The 2.0g even did never leave beta – now you drop the support… What does the mirror tell you about your quality of development?Regards, Kyros

steven on February 14, 2010  · 

@alex the “stable” firmware on the fonera 2.0n does not like Broadcom, iphone 3gs, Ipod touch 3rd generation devices… Generally wireless was not checked thorougly before shipping it… one thinks that FCC testing assures total compatibility with the hardware on the market…

on 29th of november Ralink finally was able to release a new wifi driver for the fonera 2.0n which got incorporated in the “beta”… tests indicated the wifi part was much better… iphone 3Gs & Ipod Touch and several broadcom testers were happy; only the fon-sharing part wasn’t working due to bugs in macadresses, fonserver radius time outs and some other bugs… Also the 100000 reboots a day due to VOIP(SIP) in the network was fixed…
so if people have to choose with getting wifi to work but not sharing
or having wifi signal out but a no go for most people?
Personally I also still use the fonera 2.0g untill ralink firmware is okay…

ace731 on February 14, 2010  · 

I just wish someone would flash it and get dd-wrt on the 2.0n then we wouldn’t all be arguing about whether or not this is going to get fixed or lack of updates etc. I just want the device to work with my iPhone 3GS. which it does not. I bought this router thinking it worked well so I handed my old N-draft router down to my parents and moved away. now I am stuck with a partially working router…

alex on February 14, 2010  · 

@ steven,

i know you have always been trying to be helpful and we have had many direct discussions about how to bring FON forward and how to address issues. You know FON and most of the FON employees. You know well, that we really try hard, to get the remaining issues clarified.

As announced, we will launch a new firmware for the Fonera 2.0n also doing what you also suggest: first focus on the really important issue of Broadcom and iPhone conflicts.

Please check http://blog.fonosfera.org/ where Iurgi last Friday gave an update and outlook of how we would like proceed. Spare with us some more time on that.

alex on February 14, 2010  · 

@ Ricardo,

understood. First sounded like you upgraded to the firmware. As mentioned before, we will try to address the WiFi issue (with certain chips) as soon as possible. We shall have an upgrade coming and keep you informed on http://blog.fonosfera.org/. I hope we can have it in April.

I hope you can spare with us till then. But, if you dont want to wait of if then you are still not satisfied with the performance and dont enjoy the Fonera, please let us know, we will take it back and return you money.

alex

burton-ng on February 14, 2010  · 

I even bought a compatible webcam for my fonera G… this feature never worked out of home network…
Enagling ssh… inseting lines to fix things, testing… replying in order to fix..

What a pain for nothing

alex on February 14, 2010  · 

@ Vorstaad,

thanks for your comments as well. Just to repeat – that we will launch a firmware! We (martin) do not ignore your feedback – it’s loud and clear. If you dont want to wait for the update, we would take back the Fonera. We really hope you stay, because I believe that the reason why you (and many others) comment like this on the blog is because you care about the FON community. We do as well!!!

lixxus on February 14, 2010  · 

dd-wrt is the saviour of FON.

i think if FON payed DD-WRT developers they would do a better job of developing the firmware.

OK. let me tell you where fon went wrong and the reason i no longer use fon to share internet and make money.

1st – fon introduce 15mins free internet for aliens to connect without paying. ( im losing money here and bandwidth)
2nd – fon is a wireless router therefore i expect it to do primary wireless functions such as repeater/bridge etc. i am running a mesh network, so if i have more than 1 fonera i expect it to communicate with all others on same SSID
3rd – the fon hardware and im talking about early edition (2100). was rubbish and used to overheat and stop working
4th – firmware was inadequate and basic and people had to rely on 3rd party developers to ad features and fix problems.

if that isnt bad customer service coupled along with your crazy comment about not supporting a product for a minimum of 3 years not even 5yrs i dont know what to say. i think you should take a leaf from BT and ubuntu in this aspect.

if you want your products to work maybe buy good hardware with good chipsets such as broadcom or atheros. instead of buying ralink chipsets.

i think ultimately fon needs to partner with people that know how to make good firmware. either openwrt or dd-wrt even if its at a cost

just look at buffalo they made a deal with dd-wrt and their products are flying off the shelf

Martin Varsavsky on February 14, 2010  · 

Lixxus you are welcome to reflash a Fonera with DD-WRT but it sounds to me that you have not tested a Fonera 2.0N and that your comments are based on earlier releases.

Kyros on February 14, 2010  · 

They way FON treats their Foneros in the last months is such an impudence!

AustinTX on February 14, 2010  · 

Lixxus you are welcome to list anything you want and martin will ignore the whole thing and introduce a straw man for you to confront. Martin does not blog to keep in touch with Foneros. Martin is a rich man who blogs to keep his rich friends up to date on his product releases and vacation photos. You can tell from his voice when he writes. Everyone is welcome to offer him blanket compliments; you can see above that they delight him. But any pointed, focused criticism is just “trolling” by his minuscule group of uninmportant haters. Anyway, DD-WRT does not work on LF2n yet because for lack of proprietary wifi drivers. I think it is time for Martin to act presidential and figure out why there are so many angry peasants in his neat and orderly kingdom. Until then, he will continue to hold his rosy image close to his heart, and cherry-pick information that defends his position (or simply exhausts his critics), and ignore that which he cannot craft a clever tool out of. See his his new one-question survey today. Foneros are fed up with Fon’s lack of response to complaints about featureset and stability. Martin responds by asking both his devoted Spanish friends, and his contemptuous English followers: “If you are one of the few who bought our last, most expensive router, would you say it is completely unusable with whatever (unidentified) firmware it has now, or are you satisfied with it as-is?” Useless. Friends, Martin listens only to money.

lixxus on February 14, 2010  · 

Martin. i was probably one of you first ever customers. when you were still giving out linksys wrt54gl. my problem happened when you started neglecting firmware development for superseeding products.

does apple neglect OS updates for iphone/itouch 2g etc. no they dont, just means that some applications and hardware support is not available.

the problem with the company fon. it says its all about the community and sharing is caring. but im sure everyone remembered, when they protested and mapped their hotspot at your madrid offices. where there was a flood of routers spammed on the map.

fon dev team need to listen to what the customers want. have they ever thought of having a http://brainstorm.ubuntu.com/, where fon users can submit idea/bugs/tickets that need fixing.

because atm from the outside the users feel neglected and seems the dev team are just busy writing firmware for new products, so that fon can capitalise on that. do you really think people will buy a SIMPL router, when you cant even fix a router that is supposed to be more high end. atm fonera 2n is being flooded on fleabay, because people are fed up.

the SIMPL router seems to me going back to square 1. you mean to tell me fon is in minus 34million and you releasing a product that is similar to the original but with N support. when really and truly the 2g model should have been the SIMPL model.

the product life cycle for fon is a joke.

i really recommend you take time to visit your forums/board on your website. i think you will get a strong view on how people really feel about the brand and product your selling.

Martin Varsavsky on February 15, 2010  · 

lixxus we would like to invite a group of Fon critics to Fon, my email is martin@fon.com, if we cannot do an in person visit because of distance and logistics we can at least do a video skype call

we all want the same thing, we want wifi everywhere

AustinTX on February 14, 2010  · 

Good, good, good. Now let us observe how Martin mines lixxus’s appeal for the nugget he wants, reshapes it and uses it to redirect the focus of the comments again. After 4 years of hearing consistent and similar complaints from his Fonero Community, Martin is not expected to suddenly reform. I’m taking snapshots of this blog post so there’s no use censoring it.

Martin Varsavsky on February 15, 2010  · 

@austintx Not only there is no need to censor this. There is no intention to censor it. We have a product that needs improvement and if it wasn’t for people like yourselves we would not know exactly what is wrong with it. I am thankful to people who want to make Fon better. And it is true that our company has been very devoted to our large telco deals and that is great cause it gets us an enormous amount of coverage but we are who we are thanks to the Fonero community and I am really sorry we have not so far delivered a better firmware. But we will because the people who work at Fon are extremely talented and hard working.

ddluk on February 15, 2010  · 

Maybe it’s time to start Lake Dump Protest as long time ago :)

Cronoser on February 15, 2010  · 

I’m a fon user since the begining, I have any kind of foneras unless the first one.
– I’m happy with the 2.0 n because I used it all day at home with the PC’s on Ethernet and the laptops and Nokia 5800 by wifi and I don’t have any problem with several reboots like another people say. I tried it with several OS and I don’t have any problem with the kind of OS.
– The problems with the 2.0n are resumed by two; the first one is that I hope that I could change the antennas for another one to increase the signal and the other is a long time without firmware updates
– With the fonera 2100 I update it to Francofon firmware and I dont’t have more problems with it.
http://wiki.francofon.fr/index.php/Accueil_en/Support_firmware-francofon_en
I recomend people to update it.

– I would like at least another firmware update for the 2.0G
– When I had any problems with the service they reply me with the right answer.
– I think that to put a repeater mode in the 2.0N or 2.0G could be a very good idea to put the fonera where you wanted.
– I would like to see more information about the new Fonera simpl.
Unlike other users I’m happy with FON and I recomend it to me friends

AustinTX on February 15, 2010  · 

Never mind La Fonera 2.0n. Martin, you have a business process that needs to be fixed, one which has resulted in half a decade of mis-starts, disappointments, communication blackouts and involuntary exploitation of the Fonero Community. You must reverse this. Members of your former company’s communities are speaking out too, and they are saying that they see history repeating. Confidence in you is at an all-time low. Thanks to the Age of Google, you can no longer easily escape this. You have demonstrated that you will allow this vessel to drift to undesirable shores, carrying us all gagged and tied together in the hold. You take us for granted, once you have our email addresses for your list and our money for your fluff boxes. You must no longer jump for the brass ring when it means landing on the faces of your patrons. Gracias.

Benoit on February 15, 2010  · 

Please Martin,

I think you understood it well.
People are asking you to stop deploying products until some are working to build a reputation around fon.com.
You are still awake at 6am replying to people, that is the problem!!!!
You do not have customer service in place and this stop you focusing on the strategy, quality and reputation of this incredible concept you have in your hands.
With Fonera 2.0N you pushed the trigger of the price higher, then the expectations of the customers.
At this price a CallCenter and Service Center is a need especially if the number of “users” is as big as what you are saying.

Would you mind try just something for us? (me at least :-))
Get out the real stats…. Show us how many Fon products (by products) have be registered and then how much are up month by month and the usage….
But if the number are far from the number of potential products out, then you have a BIG problem because for the time being your foundations looks like very hard to consolidate.

cryptic_scriptz on February 15, 2010  · 

I walked away from FON back in 2008, when a number of us who had technical backgrounds were ignored, I was one of the first to discover the 15 min exploits and I bet that still exists, I could see back then that how FON would evolve, I was bribed to the extent of being sent *gifts” because my hotspot was making a lot of money so as not to leave, anyway, to cut a long story short, I went it alone and now Im making a killing from hotspots, everywhere FON pops up, so do I with more coverage and multiwan & failover support and of course undercutting FON’s fee’s :0) , a lot of features that I begged FON to implement didnt happen, so I had to do them myself, it was the right move and Im filling in the gap where FON failed on a localised level, Im sure many of the old Foneros rememvber my site, ALOT has changed since then. Thanks El Presidente but you can keep your 50%

Mike on February 16, 2010  · 

btw: just installed the last svn build of 2.3.5.0 (from http://flash.fonera.be/FON2303/, called RC3 there) and am happy with it for what I use the Fonera 2.0n for. Bridging works, so no more double-NATting and WiFi coverage is way better! Haven’t lost hope yet… I’ve shut off the FONSpot though, because there is no documentation on how (or if) bridging affects the security model of the free WLAN.

Declan on February 16, 2010  · 

Martin
Wow, there are some angry heads here, to whom I empathise. However, to these angry heads, I urge you to stop bashing Fon (and in extreme cases Martin personally) and start to co-operate for our collective good. File your bug reports, help the support team to prioritise the fixes.
I think there is a lot of passion here because we all care about Fon. I know from my own experience running customer facing startups that this type of pointed, passionate and personal negative feedback can be a total gut punch that can cause you to question if it is all worth it.

This post is not about blowing smoke in any particular direction, rather I want to wish the dev team every success and gods’ speed in their efforts. I think they know that we (customers) are bloody frustrated that their tech is not working as we hoped.

A suggestion:
Perhaps you (Martin) would share your current flawless firmware version number and perhaps serial numbers, as perhaps there may be an important pattern to the failures.
For example my Fon 2.0n

Serial number is: 08090003087
Firmware: 2.3.5.0_rc2
Status: Boxed
Reason: WiFi instability with all available firmware options.

To close, I want to say that I am in no way affiliated with Fon, no shares, just a repeat customer who would desperately like to join the legions of happy functioning Fon customers.

simon on February 17, 2010  · 

@ Declan
I couldn´t agree more. I am a disappointed customer, too, but this personal bashing and flaming is leading nowhere. There was the need to thump the table and bring Martin back to earth. That´s that. I think he´s got the point.. hopefully! Now it´s time to cool down a bit and let them work on the new firmware. If all goes well, with a little more community-work by fon, perhaps by giving “the community” a better organized place to vent their anger than blogs and so on, this will come to a good end.

As with your wlan instabillity: my 2.0n runs the 2.3.5.0rc2,too. combined with WPA, AES and b/g/n mixed mode at ch11 … the signal is finally stable as it should be.

Steven on February 17, 2010  · 

@declan :

All issues were reported to FON
FON allways respond with “we’re working on that”
4 years later…oops we forgot

customersupport : the only reply is the automated reply…your ticket is autoclosed within 48h
– also when giving a fonera to someone else; or when migrating from fonera 2.0g to fonera 2.0n is an extra burdon to customer support..the how to is well hidden as well

trac.fonosfera.org : counter is allready >500 tickets…. you are unable to add more info to tickets you made; others can’t add info to each others tickets to make a “class action bug issue”

boards.fon.com : it’s filled with issues & solutions…but FON managment doesn’t dare to look at it…

XL on February 17, 2010  · 

Martin,

Let me suggest you few things:

1st.- A company couldn’t use his internal problems as an excuse, because the client doesn’t care about the problems, the client cares about the product that it have, and the products from other competitors. The excuses are good to explain to the board or to investors, but never to a client, because explaining your problems the only that you obtain, is that the clients mistrust more in the capacity of the company to solve the problems.

2nd.- Based in your explanations, I understund that you have a problem in terms of Human resources. This problem is really easy to solve, you only need to hire more people. But to avoid increase the expenses too much you have several options:
A).- Hire employees that have finished the university or a Master… in the last year, trougth a intership contract (it could be a 2 years contract) you only pay the salary and a 2% IRPF, it means for an expense of 1225€ you will have a legal worker that earns 1.200€. So you could contract 5 new employes to be focused into fix some problems…
B).- Subcontract an Indian company specialist in software development to take care of 2.0G Version, and to help you in the software update for different parts of 2.0N software, like torrents… I’ll suggest you that you do the same for customer service, keep 2 customer services controllers and transfer the rest to an indian company (and you’re service will be much better)

Roberto on February 17, 2010  · 

Hi Martin,

I do not understand a lot of people on this blog. They criticise you for trying to make FON profitable. Well, in my opinion paying your 40 employee´s salary should be first.

Venture backed startup reality in 2009 and 2010 is to focus on the customers first – whatever it costs. Well, besides from Twitter, Facebook and a few others this does not work. Focus should be on the product. And the product is made by the company employees.

So what is wrong with FON: FOCUS!

You should decide for and mantain a single focus: Either you focus on the “Millions of Foneras Community” or you focus on Router functionalities to rival AVM an other companies. But trying to get a big market share of WiFi *and* trying to bring out the most versatile router will not work – with 40 people.

So trash the Fonera 2.0n and focus on the SIMPL

XL on February 19, 2010  · 

Hi Martin,

I think Fon it’s a company that is not easy to be managed from the point of view of human resources.

The problem is, that is a company with peaks of job. When you launch a new product, you need a lot of people, when you sign a contract with a new partner, you need a lot of people. But between both moments you live in a valley, where not many workers are necesary…

If you think n Customer services, you can see that usually you shouldn’t have too many demands, but when you launch a new product and you sold 50.000 routers per week, you will have many demands from the new costumers. And when you start the operations with a new partner and you increase on 100.000 users in a week, you will have again more claims.

So the solution maybe is not so easy like increase the number of employees… Probably the solution it will be to find a way that provides you the flexibility that your company need.

So my sugeestions are 2:

1st.- Contract students.
A) They are really cheaper only 2% IRPF not social charges…
B) They need money, not a formal part time job, so you can have a list with 20 students who knows about Fon, and about the Firmware… So this 20 can be Fon Recurrent staff, when you need 5 employees you can call them, when you need 10 you can calll them, and you allways now that you will have employees with enough knowdolege and backgraund from the company, that will be ready to help you on the peack seasons, during the rest of the time, they only can work 40 hours per month…
And this 20 employees only will cost you 6.122€ per month (2/3 full time employees salary) each one will earn net 300 € per a 40 hours of work in a month…. So for this 6.122€ you increase the numbers of monthly hours on 800.. Like to have 5 extra employes.
But the best is that when you will find a peack of Job, you will have the capabality to increse your number of employees to satisfy the increase of Job… And that will not hurt your P&L, because is a cheap and flexible way, it means extra job, extra incomes.
I don’t know If I explained well my idea…
C) You help to many students to have money, you also help them to have a contact with a IT multinational, and of course that help you to choose the better employees, because you will have experience of how they work…

2nd.- Search a Partner in India, specially for Customer service, because there you can have a customer service open 24h per day, so Japaneses will not need to wait that your spanish employes wake up… Also the company will have the capability to attend the increases of Job, AND OF COURSE THEY WILL CHEAPER THAN SPANISH…
By the way, you will be travelling to a new place so we will enjoy of new videos…
The way to do that is contract 2 Customer services controllers to work with you in Spain, so you will control what happened…
You have many america friends that currently are using Indian companies for Customer service, so, you only need to ask them…

simon on February 19, 2010  · 

Oh my.. business-management in a nutshell or what?
Not only students need money, but they are the only ones who will work more for less without many complains because of the “great future” that lies ahead of them.. what a bunch of douchebags I belong to, thanks for reminding me.
And concerning the “cheap indians” – “cheap” is not always good. In fact, it is NOT, most of the time. You will learn that when you grow up.

XL on February 19, 2010  · 

ARGH!!!

AFTER read my post I understand why people told me that I am not capable to write when I’m developing an idea…. I should read what I wrotte beafore to send it.

Sorry Shakespeare for what I did to your languaje….

steven on February 19, 2010  · 

@Simon & @XL FON uses the “community” to let people help each other.
The new routers don’t even come with a cdrom or any paper to explain installation; only an url is given : wiki.fon.com where the community can add & translate …
FON has created several languages on the boards
forums.fon.com for the french
boards.fon.com for the english
foros.fon.com for the spanish

the community has also created http://www.fonboard.de for the German, http://www.fonboard.nl for the Dutch

You contact customersupport only to ask
1) what’s the status of my order? trackingcode
2) I’d like to unregister my fonera
3) I’d like to report rma
4) i’d like to move my fon to other people

FON has not created automated processes for the above

Most answers are “power recycle”, “reset button”

Nuno Rodrigues on February 19, 2010  · 

hi how update this ?
btw: just installed the last svn build of 2.3.5.0 (from http://flash.fonera.be/FON2303/, called RC3 there)

I have a error :
Failed to identify

XL on February 20, 2010  · 

Simon

I’m agree with you students job, use to be a fraud,

That’s why I’m proposing something good to the company and to the students… I think that have a student job well remunerated and with the flexibilty that I propouse, it’s the wet dream of a lot of students, at least was my case. Have 300€ per month for a 40 hours of work is amazing… specially If during the peaks of jobyou can increase your working hours and earn much money…. That’s wonderful…

That it’s unfair, is to have a student job bad paid (or not paid) based in the promises that they are helping to develop your professional skills, when in fact you’re the stupid guy that do the ugly jobs that doesn’t have nothing to see with your professional skills.

XL on February 20, 2010  · 

Simon

As you will see with the time, Cheap it means better in many cases. Because cheap resources it means more resources.

If you have a call center you need an employee with enough background to attend the calls, If you search quality, you can contract a partner of BCG for 1’000 €/hour to attend the calls, but the problem is that for this money you can have 100 employees with enough background to do the job, and belive me is better have 100 employees, that just one.

On Fon seems that happens a similar problem, martin says that they are “understaffed” but they can not spent more money, so I propoused him a solution to try to obtain a higher marginality in each Euro that he spents on Customer service.

My proposal is not based in to save money and cheaper hand work, is based into solve problems and offer a better service.

Seshan on February 20, 2010  · 

Will this use a Atheros or ralink chipset?

Jose on February 20, 2010  · 

Hi Martin.
Just tell your team to focus in fixing bugs that the comunity reports. I know there is a good deal coming in from the new fon router but people (like me that started with the linksys) are here because of that “comunity” idea, rather the biz plan (wich of course it has to be there and make money) so when we feel forgoten or non taken care, we complain and now that more and more foneros have paid a proper price for it, they really want it to work as any other company router.

I think you are doing good, but maybe missing a bit the point of the beginning of this.

cheers

Leave a Comment

You need to identify yourself to be able to comment, for what you can use any of the systems that we present below.

Español / English


Subscribe to e-mail bulletin:
Recent Tweets