As I’ve written earlier, the fact that FON only works with Linksys WRT54G/GS routers is bugging some foners. To be sure, only 15% of pre-registered foners already have a compatible Linksys router. But believe me, these routers are amazing. In reality, they’re are like mini Linux computers on which you will be installing open software that will evolve very rapidly as new updates and plug-ins appear.
Right now, we’re negotiating a deal with Linksys to buy routers from them. As I’m writing this, the best price we found was 70 EUR but we hope to have them for 55 EUR at the SIMO launch for the first 1000 foners.
It pains me to say this because I am a big admirer of Linksys and Skype, but last night, i tested the Skype telephone by Linksys, the CIT200, and i was very disappointed. The problems? Well first, it costs a hefty €150. Second, it doesn’t use WIFI but DECT. And thirdly, it works with a cable. Basically, it’s technology of the 80s mixed with Skype. If you don’t have your computer on, you can’t use your phone!
Compared to the CIT200, the WiFifon, which works whether or not your computer is on and works on any FON or open access point, is so much better. Skype needs to start selling its own WiFifon. It’s giving Microsoft a huge opportunity to come out with a Wifi voice gadget and eventually completely dominate the market. Instant Messenger already has a voice and video capability. Put this in a small WiFi enable device that you can use on the FON network and sell it to those 90 million IM users in Europe, and you’re almost impossible to beat.
During the 10 first years of the web, two huge communities gradually formed: the GSM telephone community and the IM community (Skype, MSN Messenger, ICQ, Yahoo, AOL), which represent 20% and 10% of the world’s population, respectively. In the next 5 years, these two communities will fuse and the person who will lead this fusion will make lots of users happy with a system with voice, video, file transfer and chat; all over a WiFi network. This will be much more powerful than today’s 3G.
We officially have the first version of the FON software running smoothly. The access point it works with today is the Linksys WRT54G. This model is sold in most computer stores, including FNAC and PC CIty. Why this model? Because it works with open source software and it’s great quality. If you already have this model, you’ll just have to download the FON software, connect your Linksys, install the software onto your Linksys and convert into a FON access point. All this is going to be explained in detail in the FON website. If you don’t already have a WiFi connection, we recommend you buy this model in any store or you can buy one from FON on our website. If you buy it from us, you’ll have it already configured and ready to go. Obviously, it’s not great news for some that FON only works with Linksys right now, but rest assured, in less than 4 months, FON will work with many more models. To make up for this, we’re thinking of how we can make Aliens pay Bills and Linuses without FON pocketing anything, until the price of the units bought is amortized.