A Linus asked me today if, once FON is launched in France, French Linuses will be able to connect in Spain and vice versa. My answer is YES. One of the most incomprehensible policies of major operators like Vodafone, Orange and T Mobile is precisely their roaming policy. In an open border Europe and a global internet without borders, these operators over-charge you as soon as you step out of your country. Our plan is to have FON in as many countries as possible and enable FON members to connect wherever they are.
Imagine you have a WiFiFON, you go to Paris and you receive a phone call to your Spanish landline number. Well, the person calling you will pay what he/she pays for a call to a landline number in Spain (or nothing, if the person uses a flat fee calling plan) and you don’t pay any roaming charge when receiving that call in Paris. But there’s more: all your calls to other WiFiFONS are free and all other calls are at really competitive rates, similar to Skype rates.
In the WiFi world, you have different types of users. On one hand, we have the Bills, who yearn to buy their Linksys access point and then go out and fish some gringos and charge them. For them, FON will be available around mid-november.
Then,we have the Linuses, who simply want to tell other Linuses where they are so they can connect and roam for free. This is fairly obvious considering that if you stroll the streets of Spain, you will find that between 30% and 70% of WiFi networks are OPEN. FON will be available to Linuses by early November.
Today, the problem is that no one really knows where the Linuses are. And this is what FON aims to solve. How? Well, if you’re a Linus and your WiFi is OPEN, then you can register on our website and tell us where exactly your access point is. Reciprocally, FON will tell you where the other FON access points are and we will share this information only with other Linuses. If your WiFi is password-protected, you can give us the password so we can input it in our database and we will give you roaming through the open WiFi networks of other Linuses. If you want to be a Linus with a password, we can give you one so you can replace your old one.
To be sure, FON will set up access points in important sites where no WiFi coverage currently exists. In this respect, Linus will enjoy free access to the FON network while Bills and Gringos will be charged.
So basically, FON will have two types of access points: those that we will be able to see and monitor from our headquartes (using Linksys access points for now and then other brands later on) and those that we won’t monitor but that we will put in our maps based on the information Linuses send us.