We are now working on designing our own router. Our plan is to stop subsidizing the Linksys router and, instead, make a deal with Linksys (or their competitors) by which you will find Fon ready routers in the shops of Europe and North America. Instead at Fon we will have our own router designed by us and sold on our web site.

These are some ideas for our own designs. These are outdoor designs and, of course, they are weatherproof.



Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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teleken on March 21, 2006  · 

I want to sell them, can i ? and pick up a little spare change doing it?

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Martín Varsavsky on March 22, 2006  · 

Teleken, if you are entrepreneurial in spirit what you will like to do is become what we call a Superbill. A Superbill is a fonero who installs Fon throughout a village, or neighborhood giving continous coverage in an area and gets to make half of all the revenues that Fon makes from Aliens in that area. The only investment that the Superbill needs to make is buy routers at 25 euros each.

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teleken on March 22, 2006  · 

Thank you martin, when i buy the routers is there away the router identifies me?

and will there be advance notice when upgrades
will be added or new design changes to new hardware so i don’t overstock on obsolete products?

will there be value added services for the bills
to up sale down the road?

when do you think the small routers will be available for sale?

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Alberto on March 22, 2006  · 

Good idea

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Dabis Camero on March 23, 2006  · 

Depending on the desired RF patterns and routing protocols, this type or radio and antenna combination could be an interesting design. If the radiation patterns are like the ones described in the drawings I’m afraid the directivity of the patterns will not allow connectivity from clients in the outdoor areas. Anyways I think it is too early to say anything because there are not in depth details of the design…. We’ll be more than glad to cooperate and help!


Dabis Camero

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Christian Frhr. von der Ropp on March 23, 2006  · 

Allthough an orange housing is advantageous in terms of recognition, I would suggest offering exchangeable covers in more decent colors, since especially landlords won’t be happy if their tentants start mounting orange boxes on their house wall.

With regard to the second illustration, do you actually plan to realize the backhaul through P2P routing via WLAN?
Since WLAN bandwidth could quickly become insufficient WiMAX would be the better choice.

best regards,


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Martín Varsavsky on March 23, 2006  · 

And which color is a decent color?



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MatEng on March 24, 2006  · 

in my opinion, FON should be visible.
And this is the main target of this design.
If you see one of this orange boxes, you should feel like beeing home.
There is an 12 dBi Flatpannel inside !
So, that is definately a design that fits long range client-Mode or best coverage
of hotels lounges, city centres , beaches or airpot lounges.

OK, decent colors have to be available for more decent foneros.
But orange makes more noise while spreading the message 🙂

Let’s discuss more details in the forums.
Or e-mail me to give some hints.
I am verry interested in your ideas and criticism.


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AustinTX on March 24, 2006  · 


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Christian Frhr. von der Ropp on March 24, 2006  · 

White or wooden-brown – just those colors house walls have, so the box won’t attrack attention.

Another idea is to still provide an external antenne jack just for the case a potential installation point would limit coverage, due to the orthogonal signal dispersion from the router (e.g. if the potential point is facing a neighbouring house wall or if mounted on the roof).

best regards,


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Chris Adams on March 24, 2006  · 

Quick question:

How much power do these things suck up on average? With a handcranked one-laptop-per-child machine giving apparently 100 minutes of power from 5 minutes of cranking, this device has me wondering how easy it would be to power off the grid, i.e. with solar power, or a wind turbine.

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Martín Varsavsky on March 25, 2006  · 


If you mean the FON AP, we measured about 5 – 7 watt (buffalo 3.3V).


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emilp on April 20, 2006  · 

Make sure to investigate an Accesspoint version, prefeably supporting power over Ethernet.


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eddie tam on November 5, 2006  · 

In the US especially, you will find that a lot of housing developement communities will protest the orange colored boxes being posted on the building exterior as a blight. So, the standard greyish color would suffice.

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moufid on April 14, 2007  · 

Hi Martin!

I just discovered this post which responds to the need I was looking for : the “superbill”. Can I have more information about it. Did something was developped for people like me who wants to commercialize your wifi concept for coffes, tea saloon…

Keep hearing from you!

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Dave on August 1, 2007  · 

Dear Martin,

just found this post.
The second picture suggests, that Fon will finally switch to a meshing mode?
Is my interpretation of this correct?

If Fon finally would use meshing, i’d immediately contact the town-officials (about 150.000 people town) and let them support (=finance) a town-wide project (they did it before with an open-source project, unfortunately the organizer of the project “retired”, before it was completed). Another project with commercial support (FON) would probably be much easier to “sell them”.



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Mariusz on September 25, 2007  · 

This concept looks great, what I wonder is that you already made La Fontenna ( Indor use ) maybe this one will be good idea for any outside use ? Think about sometnig what will works just with power suply like Signal Repeter – Signal Radge Extender and doesnt have to be conected to signal cable. It can works like repeter / extender of all FON signal in his area

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