My Spanish blog is more active than my English blog but this does not mean that I don´t praise, criticism and trolls in my English blog as well. Throughout Fon´s short history, unfortunately, critics and trolls have been partly right when they say that Fon has not delivered on its promise to build a global WiFi network. Yes, we do have 360K Fonspots now but other than in Japan which is the only country in the world in which we have succeeded without installing our software inside the wifi router of telecom operators in other countries where we have been very successful, like UK or France we did this together with BT, Neuf in France, Zon in Portugal.

Why were we not able to grow at a rhythm higher than 4000 Foneras a month more solely on the premise of “share a little wifi at home and roam the world for free”? I would say it was a chicken and egg problem. With BT we truly were able to say that you share a little WiFi at home and roam the UK for free as with them we deployed so many fonspots at once that coverage in that promise and delivery were very well linked. Especially because if you are both a BT customer and a Fonero you get to roam for free in BT OpenZone as well, BT´s commercial offer available at airports, train stations, etc. But in other countries, like Spain where we don´t have an operator we exist thanks to the altruism of some (Linuses) and the desire to amortize the cost of a DSL connection (Bills) but coverage is spotty. Same in Germany were we are still the largest WiFi network but that is not enough to speak of having a real presence in which you can predictably find Fon as you can in Japan or UK.

So what we did to make it more attractive for Foneros to buy a Fonera is to make the Fonera itself very appealing. We greatly improve the Fonera 1.0 and the result is the Fonera 2.0 which goes for sale in Europe tomorrow. The Fonera 1.0 is a great router to share WiFi and to make money selling passes to the Fon community. But the Fonera 2.0 does that and much more. Examples? It downloads your torrents without your computer being on (ONLY DOWNLOAD CONTENT WHOSE RIGHTS PLEASE). It downloads files from Rapidshare and Megaupload. It uploads your videos to Youtube without your computer being on. It uploads pictures to Facebook, Picasa, Flickr. It converts your many times useless 3G signal into WiFi so you can use game consoles and other devices that need internet but don´t come with 3G. It connects your printers via WiFi, or your webcam, and there is more coming.

With the Fonera 2.0 we are convinced that our deployment rate will accelerate and with a combination of Foneras and telco routers we will deliver on the coverage.

In this video I compare the Fonera to the Time Capsule of Apple and show that in a sense, the Fonera is to the Time Capsule what the iPhone is to a mobile phone.

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Adrian Clark on April 20, 2009  · 

How can you possible put at the same level fonera2 with the TimeMachine of Apple!
Same thing comparing the brilliant thinest computer in the world (something you forgot) with the “unglamorous” MSI.

Lately yours posts are filled with a lot of Ego, look what I have, how clever I am etc we Fonera copies all the web 2.0
layouts and widgets that we already see in the market and Fonera itself is just like Whisher and many other services.

Is just a constructive comment to calm you down, I am in the UK and nobody knows about Fon to be honest…

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Martin Varsavsky on April 20, 2009  · 

There are over 130K foneros in the UK and everywhere where you find BT OpenZone or BT Fon you can connect if you are a BT Fonero. Please visit and sign up to the largest WiFi network in the world Adrian and roam the world for free connecting to other Foneros.

ddluk on April 20, 2009  · 

Hi Martin,

I create a Polish translation for La Fonera 2.0. I also working with wiki translation. I need a La Fonera 2.0 device to test my translation. If it’s possible please send me one. Iurgi is in contact with me.

3.0 rating

jez on April 21, 2009  · 

Martin, I got an email saying the Fon2 is not available in the UK? Is this true? if so, whens it going to be available..

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Question on April 21, 2009  · 

Is / will on the Fonera 2.0 also be wifi / wlan 802.11n on board ( and not only 802.11g and/or 802.11b ) please, otherwise FON is not ready for the future ?

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steven on April 21, 2009  · 

There are only 3000 BT FON spots in the UK…
I was unable to find a BT OPENZONE fonspot in London that didn’t ask me to pay. Will the SSID show “fon” in the near future when they allow FONeros to connect?

In France I was not able to find a Neuf Wifi Fon on the locations showed by; I only found “neuf wifi” on those locations which didn’t allow my FON credentials. Will the fonmaps/neufmaps show their “fon allowed/not” status better in the near future?

The last few years Ubiquity launched very successfull “atheros/openwrt” compliant accesspoints at +- 63 euro which promise coverage of more than 15km; weatherproof; power over ethernet… it’s not telling it’s beyond 100mWatt… it uses “adaptive Antenna Measurement” and is very sensitive to incoming signals as well (smartphone antennas can’t shout back as hard as laptops)
Perhaps FON could resell rebranded version of these devices with FON software on it?

Ubiquity even launched a competition for 200.000$
Would be great if the Fonosfera team could win it… nice bonus for them 🙂

These nano stations & bullets have been tested by Wireless Communities and found to be VERY GOOD indeed….

Meshing software has also been created for these devices :
So you can create wifi meshes to cover entire city blocks with a few of these

perhaps interesting :

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alex puregger on April 21, 2009  · 

@ Jez
true, for the time being the Fonera 2.0 is not available in the UK. Nevertheless in the UK we also offer the Fonera +. If you purchase the Fonera + in the UK and become a sharing member of the BT-FON community, you get full free access to the entire BT-FON network (>130k hotspots in the UK) and the global FON network.
In the medium term we also plan to offer the Fonera 2.0 in the UK – but it will take a little since there are some adjustments required. We keep you posted.

(i work for FON)

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alex puregger on April 21, 2009  · 

@ question 5.

the current version of the fonera 2.0 is 802.11b/g. A 802.11n version of the Fonera 2.0 is planned, but since such upgrades are complicated and require different hard- and software it will take a while.

(i work for FON)

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alex puregger on April 21, 2009  · 

@ steven

not sure when you last had a chance to check the FON network in the UK and France. But, I can tell you that your experience is surprising, as we do have significant presence especially in these two countries! What you need to do in the UK is also try to connect to BT-Openzone signal, since some of the older versions of the BT-Homehub send an SSID called BT-Openzone (instead of BT-FON) but it leads to the BT-FON network and is free access for all Foneros. I hope next time your experience is better.

Thanks for the suggestion regarding the Ubiquity routers.


(I work for FON)

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