In Argentina, Microsoft is pronounced the english way, whereas in Spain, it’s pronounced MEE-CROSOFT. Spain is a little bit like France in that it tends to reject “imported” words or names. People will look at you awkwardly if you pronounce a foreign word the way it is supposed to sound. However, in Latin America and most countries in the world, foreign words seem to be much more accepted and people will try to pronounce it correctly. In this respect,we decided at FON that a person using FON will be a fonero, wherever that person’s from and whatever language that person speaks. I think for most people, there’s something romantic about Spanish, and FON members will like the name fonero. In fact, people are starting to pick it up. Just the other night, at the big SIME party, lots of Swedes came up to me and told me “I want to be a fonero!”. That made my day.
We already have three FONERO leaders outside of Spain. They have been selected out of 42 candidates from 17 countries. They are Yann Mauchamp in France. Hilarion Del Olmo in Argentina and Ola Ahlvarsson in Sweden. We will launch FON at SIME in Stockholm on Nov 10th. We will start FON in Spain at SIMO on Nov 15th and we will launch in France at Les Blogs on Dec 5th. We still don´t have a start up date for Argentina. We are waiting to make decisions on other countries although we have amazing leaders from USA, for example. The FON proposition is simple: a software download that turns your wifi into a hotspot to be shared with other foneros. In this way you will continue paying for bandwidth at home but have bandwidth both at home and throughout your country. The execution of the FON strategy however is not so simple and that´s why we need FONERO leaders who can spread the message locally. 2006 will be the year of the wifi gadgets. Other than laptops and pda´s we will see wifi ipod type devices, wifi playstations, nintendo revolution, wifi phones or wifi digital cameras. But what are all those good for without a wifi nation? Get your toys out of your bath tub! Join FON.