My Spanish blog is more active than my English blog but this does not mean that I don´t praise, criticism and trolls in my English blog as well. Throughout Fon´s short history, unfortunately, critics and trolls have been partly right when they say that Fon has not delivered on its promise to build a global WiFi network. Yes, we do have 360K Fonspots now but other than in Japan which is the only country in the world in which we have succeeded without installing our software inside the wifi router of telecom operators in other countries where we have been very successful, like UK or France we did this together with BT, Neuf in France, Zon in Portugal.

Why were we not able to grow at a rhythm higher than 4000 Foneras a month more solely on the premise of “share a little wifi at home and roam the world for free”? I would say it was a chicken and egg problem. With BT we truly were able to say that you share a little WiFi at home and roam the UK for free as with them we deployed so many fonspots at once that coverage in that promise and delivery were very well linked. Especially because if you are both a BT customer and a Fonero you get to roam for free in BT OpenZone as well, BT´s commercial offer available at airports, train stations, etc. But in other countries, like Spain where we don´t have an operator we exist thanks to the altruism of some (Linuses) and the desire to amortize the cost of a DSL connection (Bills) but coverage is spotty. Same in Germany were we are still the largest WiFi network but that is not enough to speak of having a real presence in which you can predictably find Fon as you can in Japan or UK.

So what we did to make it more attractive for Foneros to buy a Fonera is to make the Fonera itself very appealing. We greatly improve the Fonera 1.0 and the result is the Fonera 2.0 which goes for sale in Europe tomorrow. The Fonera 1.0 is a great router to share WiFi and to make money selling passes to the Fon community. But the Fonera 2.0 does that and much more. Examples? It downloads your torrents without your computer being on (ONLY DOWNLOAD CONTENT WHOSE RIGHTS PLEASE). It downloads files from Rapidshare and Megaupload. It uploads your videos to Youtube without your computer being on. It uploads pictures to Facebook, Picasa, Flickr. It converts your many times useless 3G signal into WiFi so you can use game consoles and other devices that need internet but don´t come with 3G. It connects your printers via WiFi, or your webcam, and there is more coming.

With the Fonera 2.0 we are convinced that our deployment rate will accelerate and with a combination of Foneras and telco routers we will deliver on the coverage.

In this video I compare the Fonera to the Time Capsule of Apple and show that in a sense, the Fonera is to the Time Capsule what the iPhone is to a mobile phone.

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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