In 5 hours we will make a big announcement in Korea: we will adopt the Fonero promise system in Korea and not charge for our Foneras. As Germans, Koreans have also shown a tremendous community spirit that has led to many Fonera sales, activations and registrations in our maps. In gratitude FON has decided to move from a system based on Fonera (FON social router) sales to a system based on trust and give Foneras away for free in exchange for a simple promise to leave them on, as we are also doing tomorrow in Germany and Austria.

In Korea FON has a fantastic leader, Jin Ho Hur, who not only runs FON Korea but is the CTO of FON in all of the Pacific Rim. I was in Korea together with Jin Ho Hur when we launched FON and the experience was fascinating, but frustrating at the same time, because Fonera sales were so quick that we sold out 3000 foneras in 24 hours, ran out and had to close our shop. It was sad for us to leave so much demand unattended until we manufactured 20K more Foneras for Korea that we will now distribute for free. While I know that 20K does not sound like a large number for members of a community, say compared to our partners at Skype or Google when they build communities, by installing 20K we would be the largest WiFi network in Korea, where we now have over 2500 installed access points.

I would like to end by thanking Korean early Foneros who trusted that the FON movement would spread throughout the country and the world. With FON the proposition is simple, share a little extra bandwidth at home and roam the world with your WiFi gadgets for free.

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Martin Revert on October 19, 2006  · 

Hi Martin, I discovered Fon searching an alternative firmware to flash my WiFi router. Lol.
Well, I think that a strong compromise will be harder in some communities (why not cultures).
You need to offer some warranty of service if you like to compete in certain grade with international GSM voice nets (I mean, pointing exclusively to the new Netgear and Belkin Skype Wi Fi Phones, by example).
I have 35 years old and worked 12 years in argentinian cellular communications.
In my experience I saw that a cellular service, as business, must to give service (as intended like urban service and principal roads with potential consumers) always, because one client without service it will be a client lost in a 50% rate of probability. That will be happen to Fon if you coldn’t reach a decent rate of routers covering huge geographical areas, 24x7x365. And that will be happen to Fon because the contract with people is based only and lonely in confidence. You can solve this problem technically, knowing what Internet IP is running certain a Fonera or any other Fon device compromised. Hard, but not impossible. That’s what a cellular company do with their HLRs, Radio Bases and MSCs: They know everytime if the transmision tools works fine (or not, what it is very possible siguiendo las leyes de Murphy . You NEED to do this, because is not the only way to guarantee Skype: It could be the only warranty seal of Fon.
The funny thing of all of this is that you are not pointing to the strong compromise communities in the informatic sense of view: Linux international groups. By example, I asked to GRULIC (Grupo de usuarios Linux Cordoba Argentina) if they know about FON and surprisinlgy answered that no. I was shocked!.
They are experienced in free sources and sharing, they showed interested and compromised, but this community don’t have access to any “social router”,instead Wi Fi in Argentina is becoming (slowly) more affordable, a Lynksys WRT54GL starts from 70 euro, but the average salary it is a little bit up to 300 euro. They cannot spread ” the word” without a help. Korea, Austria and Germany it is logical in bussines sense. Argentina is not, but some peolpe has the heart to help to do this a real, global, interesting thing. Not a bubble (like I saw many people throws to your face in some forums and blogs).
Other situation to be attended is the upstream limitations of some ISP in certain countries wich could affect the QoS of the Fon service: The standard Internet bandwith upstream in Argentina is between 128kbit and 256kbit. Most of the people will think very well if it will be a good idea to share a piece of that modest upstream.
Most of the peolple could be in trouble if some fonero wants to use Skype at a Fon spot place.
Anyway, I enjoyed to know that you’re an argentinian entrepeneur.
I hope you could make some effort to bring to Argentina your Foneras, Liberators, and any other ideas and gadgets. Here will be hard, but some people (like Linux groups user groups) are expectating.
The only thing you need to do is to seed some marketing viral action. I can help you to do this, but to do this you need to offer the firmware of your gadgets open. That will be a strong alliance of confidence between world foneros and you.
Suerte, un abrazo grande tocayo y espero que no te caigan mal mis visiones/sugerencias.
Martin, Cordoba-Argentina.

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Jordi - Fon on October 20, 2006  · 

Hi Martin Revert, regarding Argentina, very soon you will have Foneras in BBAA. We were not able to get the first Foneras into the country because FCC and CE approvals were not enough to import the product. We are now proceeding with an Argentinean approval that will allow us to get lots of Foneras to our Argentinean brothers eager to become Foneros.

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Juno Park on October 20, 2006  · 

You can quick browse 3 photos of the press briefing on La Fonera Promise, held on Oct 19. 2006 in Seoul, Korea;
It’s abour 6 megapixels-size, and good enough size to photoprint and/or anything.
@ Juno

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MArtin Revert on October 22, 2006  · 


Most of the comunicationes products in Argentina are sold with ONLY the FCC and/or CE complaint seals.
I’m not infomed about any tests neither homlogation of the CNC (Comisión Nacional de Comunicaciones) to any informatic communication equipment, because the radio band covered by this class of hardware is liberated (2.4Mhz and low Tx power) and is not regulated by any communication law in Argentina.
Because there is no strong homologation needed to Foneras I’m more moved to think that your problemas are internal taxes, fees and logistics, not radio homolagation.

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Bernard Leung on October 22, 2006  · 

I am so delighted to have heard that Korea has done so great in FON development. I think, for the case in Hong Kong, maybe we cannot do the “number of routers” that Korea can do , but we can do a good job in the coverage. You have been, in Hong Kong, you will know that Hong Kong is highly densed city. Usually when i wait for the bus at the bus styop, i switch on my Ipaq to be the wifi begger, I can see 3-4 routers online at the same time. That’s why i am confidernt that we can be a wifi city !

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Jordi - Fon on October 22, 2006  · 

Hi Martin Revert, we also thought FCC and CE was enough and we even shipped a few Foneras to BBAA that are now blocked at customs… We have been informed that the CNC requires their approval independently from having FCC and CE. We are now in this process. If you have any CNC internal information that could help, please share with us, we will love to get those units to Argentinean Foneros as fast as possible 😀

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Martin Varsavsky on October 23, 2006  · 

Me too Bernard,

I am very confident. I was in Hong Kong many times this year and HK is perfect for Fon.


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