I apologize for the high shipping charges we have to some European countries. We are working on reducing those.
I apologize to all of those who want to be FONeros in Asia and still can´t get the routers for $5/€5. What happened is that we alocated a certain amount of routers to Asia, started selling them in Korea and sold so many that we simply ran out. My apologies and do expect social routers in many places in Asia subsidized by FON as soon as Accton, our manufacturing partners, can deliver them which I estimate will be in mid August.
I apologize for early FONeros who are having to reflash their routers. New versions of our software can be udpated from FON, so those problems should be over to new buyers, but my apologies to early FONeros trying our early beta versions.
I apologize to those who have trouble getting help from FON. We build a company to be the largest WiFi network in the world by year end (around 25K foneros) and not over 60K now. We are doing what we can, but we apologize.
FON has opened two research labs, one in Barcelona and one in Paris. The lab in Barcelona is working in the FON Downloader: the new version of our social router that will also address an issue that is dear to people who frequently upload and download, and that is a FON social router that can be directly connected to your iPod or external hard drive and that allows you to separate your uploading downloading activities in bittorrent, youtube and other sites from your computing activity. We believe we can have this product in the market for around $50.
In Paris we are working on managing our relationship with many other open source companies and doing projects in common. These will be announced in the next 30 days. Now here´s a general commentary. In Europe, most people don´t want to move and companies must go to them. In America, most people move to where the companies are. So FON is decentralizing and making small labs in different cities. We would like to do our next one in Asia.
At FON we are not as crazy about Bluetooth as we are about WiFi, but now that phones like the Nokia E61 or N80 have Bluetooth and WiFi, we see a great opportunity to create a Symbian version of FON and we are going for it.
Now that we are becoming big I am getting comments from people who are turned off by our “Spanish leftist” look. I hear them, but I am not planning to change our image. FON is a telco revolution, FON is made of people who are fed up of the slow speed and the high monopolistic charges of the mobile operators and want to see free WiFi succeed. FON is user generated infrastructure: you give up some of your wireless bandwidth at home and you get it back anywhere else in the world without having to pay extra. You roam the world for free.
FON is people who have been promised the wireless internet and got tired of waiting. And that to me, is progressive. Why should it not express our views? And as a CEO, why can´t I express my views? I believe CEO´s CAN and SHOULD be political, because CEOs are citizens and all citizens should be political. So here´s a random list of things I believe in.
Being Argentine I am pretty sad by the fact that even though we were very even against Germany during the game (1-1), we lost by penalties. As I watched Argentina who played so well, lose out in penalties I wondered if penalties are actually a fair way to decide matches. When aiming talent is evenly distributed, penalties seem to favor taller goalies and stronger players, in this case the Germans.
But then to be honest, I know I would not be saying this if Argentina had won. Besides, the Germans also played very well. So congratulations to the winners!
We will subsidize a million routers. And the story appeared in Reuters before it did in my blog. Sorry! I was too busy working on the total overhaul of our web site and systems that will happen this week. More to follow.
I invested in vpod.tv. I asked Rodrigo Sepulveda, one of the two entrepreneurs behind vpod.tv, to send me a company description and this is what he sent me:
vpod.tv is an easy online video publishing and syndication platform for the web and mobile devices aiming at the global consumer market, enabling massive new user-generated content and personal customizable TV-channels. It brings a real convergence between fixed and mobile devices such as computer screens, TVs, mobile phones, and portable media players.
The two largest internet shareholders of Fon are Google and eBay. As Fon grows and we try to look into how to collaborate with these two giants and FON, who seemingly have so little in common between them and with us, I realized that there is one element in which we are all in sync: we all specialize in making better use of what there is, of what exists.
Does anyone know how we could port FON functionality say chillispot into a Symbian 3G/WiFi phone like the N80? If so please write to me. I see a great potential in taking the Fon Movement into mobile phones and have 3G to WiFi converters. Just look at the WiFi Alliance site and see how many gadgets have WiFi while there are almost no gadgets that are not phones with 3G.