I only have the press release in French but from what I read Free (Iliad) the second largest ISP in France with 1.6 million customers has just announced a system that at least partially copies Fon but in a very phone centric way. At Fon you pay for broadband at home, install a Fon ready router and you roam the world for free wherever there are foneros (people who share wifi). With Free their system is that you pay for Free broadband at home and it comes with a wifi router and a wifi gsm phone (200 euros) and then you roam wherever in France there are other Free customers and you use their wifi signal with your phone without paying. So it´s like Fon but only for France and only for phones. Still it´s a great initiative and we are all for it. Free France!

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

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pablotossi on April 19, 2006  · 

…be careful, is a FON-SKYPE competitor…

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Oscar SALAZAR on April 20, 2006  · 

Hello Martin,

I do not think Free is copying FON. The truth is that Free is real while FON seems to be the Varsavsky blogging project. Until today, we have not seen any FON router working with the bill/linus model. I think you should seriously pass from theory to practice if you really want FON to be the killer app.

3.0 rating

Diego on April 20, 2006  · 

Hello Martin,

Their approach is interesting. Some time ago I read an article that said that the French were among the europeans who travel the least abroad. So if that article was right then this makes a lot of sense.

Thanks Martin


3.0 rating

Martín Varsavsky on April 20, 2006  · 


With 31000 registered foneros, which makes us the largest wifi network in the world, and with Google and Skype as partners, FON looks pretty real to most.


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