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.

What is the idea here? Foneros will enter other people´s WiFi phones through bluetooth and make SKYPE/SIP phone calls through WiFi. They will also e-mail and surf the net through BluetoothWiFi FON handsets. We think this will be extremely useful in cases where there´s wifi coverage but no GSM, or simply when friends want to make a favor to other friends.

Moreover, we see potential in content, people exchanging pictures, videos, music, ringtones they have in their phone with their friends. Part of this Mobiluck already does. Other parts Wideray does. I recently met with these companies and I see great opportunities for collaboration. I was particularily impressed by Olivier Chouraki at Mobiluck. In both cases I was introduced by Anina, who is one of the most aware persons in the mobile space that I have ever met and who is doing a consultancy for FON to help us enter the mobile world.

Basically, what we have to do at FON now is to add Bluetooth to our social routers so phones can connect to them and make sip/skype phone calls. This is easy to do and since Foneras are always on there´s no power problems. But we can also develop on and off applications such as FON Symbian and Windows Mobile clients so WiFi phones allow others to call and surf through them.

If you are a developer with experience doing these projects do contact me.

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No Comments on July 1, 2006  · 

hi martin, i totally think that users will want to help their friends out by letting them use their phones.

your contacts are in your phone. but why give someone your phone, when instead they can just use their phones to make a VOIP call or 3G call?

i would!

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Mike on July 1, 2006  · 

I’m not saying this is impossible to do, but in my experience, Bluetooth stacks are *very* poorly implemented in most phones. It is also unlikely that all (if any) phones implement in their stacks the required profiles and protocols (PAN, DUN, BNEP…)

Besides all this, the battery on the phones would die rather quickly, as having both BT and WiFi working at the same time will turn the phone into a nice heatsink.

Good luck,


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XceptiKo on July 3, 2006  · 

Martín, be very careful with Bluetooth there are big differences depending on the version an it is not a communication protocol but a service enabler. Try to do your idea with your laptop and Nokia, you will understand what I mean.

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glass on July 6, 2006  · 

“We think this will be extremely useful in cases where there´s wifi coverage but no GSM” in reality there will not be many cases like that.

also, sadly, you will have significant problems in developing such tech that would actually work. for example just accessing the internet over bluetooth from the phone(through a computers ethernet or whatever connection) is impossible with most phones. just that phone has bluetooth doesn’t guarantee anything about what you could do with it.

(in other words, the phones that would be capable of what you’re thinkng are pretty much of the “smartphone” variety which are starting to ship with wifi now anyhow)

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Martín Varsavsky on July 6, 2006  · 


You and others are starting to convince me that we should just stick to WiFi!


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Andreas Ehn on July 18, 2006  · 

There is another twist on this idea: as more phones start shipping with WiFi and flat-rate plans for Internet connections through 3G networks become more common and affordable, perhaps it will be possible to turn the phones themselves into social routers.

It would take some rather low-level hacking, I assume, to get the phones to run in “master” rather than “managed” mode, i.e. to turn them into access points, but it should be possible.

Read more here: Wireless wireless: FON in the phone

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Toon on November 6, 2006  · 

great idea! i’ve had the idea of getting wifi in most phones, so that when people are in the vicinity of an open (or configuered secured one) their phones automatically switch over to voip to call for free.. (except the pay for your broadband connection, but that’s beside the idea)

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