I present FON twice a week on the average around the world. In the last weeks it was Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Finland. In Helsinki I ran into one of the best looking foneras, Anina who picked up on my beggar story in her blog.
Accton has great designers. Look at this WiFi phone. FON will bundle this phone with our Fonera box and we will sell it in two versions: the Skype version (provided that Skype authorizes its sale) and the SIP version, which is ready. I had a chance to play with it when I was in Taipei and I loved it!
To launch FON in a country we need a local web site, an e commerce platform, a local blog, a round of press/bloggers conferences that I attend explaining what FON is and lastly a compelling offer for the social router, say around 10 euros. We are getting ready to launch in India and are interested in finding a techie/blogger who can help us set the site in India, build the e commerce platforms so we send our routers from Taiwan and the payments platforms in India. If anyone has candidates pls refer them to me. In other countries we manage with teams of 3 people. We need to build such team in India. The don´t advertise at FON, our key expenditure is the subsidy on the routers to get many FONeros.
As you know I am an entrepreneur. I have ideas and I hire or team up with people to execute them. Lately though I have decided to blog my ideas as I am Fon, Fon, Fon and don´t have time to execute non Fon projects. So here´s an idea for a movie script (I have never produced a movie) inspired of World of Warcraft, the game. I had this idea listening to Joichi Ito´s stories about the 200 person guild he runs at World of Warcraft. It turns out that Joichi has real soldiers playing in his guild. Soldiers who are in Iraq fighting a real war. So they fight a virtual war under Joichi´s leadership and then a real and a real war under their commander. Here´s the plot.
The Fonera will have 4MB of free memory for developers to hack it and add their programs. The future foneras will have also USB for external memories uploading and downloading but also for all sorts of USB connected gadgets. There are USB motion detectors (when there´s movement in your house the fonera sends you an e mail), there are USB Bluetooth devices (you can pair your bluetooth devices with Fon or offer a bluetooth based Fon). We are also looking at audio input/output like the Airport Express and regular phone plugs so you can do VOIP for regular phones. So far USB, audio, regular phone jacks, and Bluetooth seem to be preferred as enhancements. We thought of adding a large hard drive but then why pay people pay for what most already have. USB and external hard drive seems to be better to keep the price of the fonera very low.
And we are continuing with our policy of licensing our brand and systems at no charge to hardware makers so they can make their gadgets Fon ready.
Many Bluetooth devices allow other Bluetooth devices connect to the internet through them. At Fon we are interested in contacting software developers and manufacturers who can work with us so we can introduce BlueFON. BlueFON is Fon taking to Bluetooth. A device with Bluetooth and 3G for example would allow others connect to the internet through it. Also devices can share files, so if a group of kids for example want to download a video from youtube one downloads it and then shares it with others through Bluetooth. But the key here would be that the phones offer a bluetooth portal of services to others. Also phones like the N80 from Nokia which I use have so many radios, 3G, GPRS, WiFi, Bluetooth that the combinations are endless. We are also studying putting Bluetooth in the Fon Router to allow pairing with the router that is web controlled.
At Fon listen to Cory very closely. This was last night in Helsinki.
Cory has a very complex plan to radically change things in the US telco world. We also have a plan. We think there´s a better way in which everyone gains: ours. So far 51,000 hotspot builders seem to agree. This was filmed in a very dark room with the Nokia N80 that Marko Ahtisaari gave me yesterday.
At FON we don´t have a WiFi phone service. But our telco partners do.
5) To port Fon to VX Works and Supertask
6) To Find a way that when laptops and other gadgets detect FON, they stay with Fon even when Fon is a relatively weak signal. This client should also distinguish open networks from locked networks and, should their not be any FON networks around, they should to attempt to connect to open networks.
7) To automatically authenticate all sorts of gadgets in a quick and safe manner to the FON network without need of browsers.
Today I added El Pais in RSS to my Netvibes and realized that the Spanish headlines have many more words than headlines in English. I wonder if this is a matter of style or if Spanish simply takes more words to say the same thing.