I am writing this post from the office of Francisco de la Torre, Malaga’s mayor, where we are about to announce that Malaga is becoming the world’s first FONero city (we already have FONero towns, but not a city of over half a million people). How does this work?

Well, first the city of Malaga puts up FON Routers and Fontennas in all of its public buildings. And there are many. The City Hall is already FON enabled. And so are some of the other buildings here. In these buildings, there’s free WiFi for all citizens and visitors. Then FON will donate over 2000 La Foneras (FON’s WiFi routers) to Malaga’s citizens who will place them in their windows for the benefit of their fellow citizens and visitors (Malaga airport has 13 million passengers per year).

So in the next year, visitors to Malaga will get free WiFi if they are FONeros (WiFi donors) anywhere in the planet or for 3 euros per day if they are not. FON’s model has succeeded over the Muni WiFi model that the city first considered because our model involves citizen participation, is extremely inexpensive for cities and has the collaboration of ISPs and telcos who sell more and not less broadband connections. Thank you, Malaga!

Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars

No Comments

jbs on March 20, 2007  · 

Michael, I just hope you try that here in Lisbon too. I’ve done my part – the 10 foneras you sent me have been delivered to my friends and (hopefully) are now being used.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 20, 2007  · 

JBS, we will send you 10 more!

3.0 rating

freechelmi on March 21, 2007  · 

Martin , congrats , But please don’t compare a Muni Wireless Network such as Google mountain view and 2000 foneras close to the Window.

WIthout antennas , a fonera does not really cover anything else but your flat.

So giving foneras is not a muni wifi replacement , it’s just a cheap way to see if it works.

Anyway MuniWifi is about giving internet access to citizen. your solution is still only for tourists, residents won’t pay 90 Euros/months

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 21, 2007  · 


You are right about antennas and Fon is about to launch a Fontenna. Are you a fonero? I will be happy to send you one so you can see. And you are wrong about tourists, I don´t know where you heard that. Fon is free to foneros, you share wifi at home and you roam the world for FREE totally for Free. And if you are not a fonero because you donate one you can become one paying but in that case you pay 3 euros the first day and 2 euros the following day. We don´t have monthly rates cause we don´t want situations in which neighbors use their neighbor bandwidth every day so Fon is free for foneros and then if you have a tendency to use your neighbor´s wifi every day it is not economical and it´s best that you yourself become a fonero.

3.0 rating

ddluk on March 21, 2007  · 

I’ve got the same problem as freechelmi. I want to give my internet acces to many people who are near my fonera but I can’t because the signal is not to strange.

3.0 rating

ddluk on March 21, 2007  · 

I’ve got the same problem as freechelmi. I want to give people near my La Fonera the internet access but I can’t because the signal is not to strong. The second problem in Poland is the page fon.onet.pl where are only basic information about fon. The people who don’t know the idea of fon after reading that will not take a decission to bring to our community. The next problem is the promotion of fon in Poland. Users who want to have a fonera send me maila and post on forum that they need an invitationc which I can’t give them because I don’t have got it. Can you do Martin something with that situation in Poland ??

3.0 rating

Patrick on March 21, 2007  · 

Hey Martin,

I’m dissapointed you don’t count Oslo, a city of 1million people which is first in getting FON off the ground in this part of the world with iBand Clearchannel deal bringing an intial 500 FONERAs on the map. And they will be making good access as advertising is always in the right locations.


3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 21, 2007  · 


the best solution is a Fontenna and we will send it to you within 30 days. They are being produced as we speak. As far as Poland is concerned we have nor launched our Polish site yet and I apologize for that.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 21, 2007  · 


I am sorry about Oslo and you are right. Pls give me all the details and I will give it the attention it deserves. Again my apologies.

3.0 rating

ddluk on March 21, 2007  · 

Thanks Martin. I will be happy when Polish version of site will be launched 🙂 Will be the Polish fon blog launch to ??

3.0 rating

Davide on March 22, 2007  · 

Can you give mr more detail about fontenna ?
I can use it for improve my fonera range?
where I can Find it?

3.0 rating

jbs on March 22, 2007  · 

Sorry about calling you Michael earlier (I was talking on the phone with a friend called Miguel and mixed up).
I would love your offer of 10 more foneras to give away to my friends, but even more a fontenna to test. My building has 1 meter thick stone external walls (and internal are 18 and 36cm thick), so even though I have my fonera (and my older dlink router) glued to the windows, I doubt the signal travels very far – I’ve yet to see a connection from a fonero.

3.0 rating

Jordi, FON on March 22, 2007  · 

Hi Davide,

this first Fontenna is a 7~8dBi panel antenna that comes also with a 3mts low loose cable and a SMA connector so you can plug it to your Fonera. The unit can be both placed inside or outside your window and it is weather proof. You can either fix the antenna to a flat surface like glass or metal with two double sided stickers that come with the unit or using a couple of screws to fix it to the wall. It gives both nice range increases to the outside of the home and also to the inside compared with default
1.5dBi antennas. The unit will be available very soon, now the first lot is being produced in Asia.


3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 22, 2007  · 

hi David, would you like to write our polish blog?

Robert Lang who runs Europe will contact you about this


3.0 rating

Fred on March 23, 2007  · 

I’m a french Fonero and I am very enthusiast by the Fon Community.
I’m living in Carcassonne and I speak about Fon around me….
I think I’ll arrive to do some thing….with the authority….

Sorry for my poor English…


3.0 rating

ddluk on March 23, 2007  · 

Hi Martin, I think that you want to write to me about Polish blog, not ot David. I want to say that, when you want to give me an permission to write on Polish fon blog I can do that 🙂 I waiting for contact from Robert Lang.

3.0 rating

Greg on March 26, 2007  · 

I am in a small Iowa town that has a local ISP installing “fiber to the home”. Could we become a FON community by everyone installing a FOn box on their line? Perhaps this would allow us to not have to pay the high fees of cell phone contracts. Thanks for any advice; are any US towns now doing this?

3.0 rating

Martín Varsavsky on March 26, 2007  · 

Hi Greg!

We would love for your town in Iowa to be the first Fonero town in the States!

Indeed while towns in Europe buy the boxes if you are the first to do this in the States we would probably donate them, I have to learn more about the area to be covered.

3.0 rating

Joanna (FON) on March 26, 2007  · 

Hi Greg,
M6y name is Joanna Rees and I run Fon in the US. Can you give me more details on your town and what your ISP is doing to bring fiber to the
home. It would be helpful to get as many details as possible. Perhaps it may be helpful to talk later this week. Friday would work well for
me. I am traveling in the interim. Let me know what would work. Best,

3.0 rating

ddluk on March 27, 2007  · 

Hi Martin,

I write you an mail about Polish fon blog and I’m still waiting for your replay.

3.0 rating

steven on March 28, 2007  · 

Have you read about the I-Flanders iniative in Belgium (with Brussels, capital of Europe)
Together with Microsoft, Cisco, HP it wants to make a whole region (6million people) wireless using the technology they used in their http://www.i-city.be projects in Hasselt & Leuven (university of)

3.0 rating

Robert (FON) on March 28, 2007  · 

Hi Lukasz,

Thanks a lot for your interest in FON – actually we partner with onet in
Poland and will launch that cooperation shortly.

Intially, onet will also take over the blogging function, but we might
change that over time.

So i suggest we stay in touch!



3.0 rating

Martín Varsavsky on March 29, 2007  · 


would love to collaborate with them.

3.0 rating

RSVJ on April 4, 2007  · 


I am excited to know about this project. We run educational institutions in India. I checked up your site and found that some cities north of my state have this.

Can I install this router for our educational campus? It will be great for the students. Will they be counted as foneros and get the benefit of wifi access at other places?

3.0 rating

Andy on May 15, 2007  · 

Please can you send me a invite to buy a Fone router at discount $20 USD. Or free if possible. I would like to start the service up @ Whistler, Canada.

There is no service up here. I think 2 people on the map got routers but they never turn them on. I want to change that for FON users.

I have a good location and can hit the local starbucks from my condo.

Please email me if you have any questions.


Thanks in advance.


3.0 rating

Jack Dillon on September 23, 2008  · 

Hi Martin,
Its great news regarding the free FON Wifi for Malaga. Ive been trying to get a hold of a Fonera, but comin up against the usual language problems and offialdom. Ive just moved into central malaga. Can you help? Who should I be contacting? Or what should I be doing to connect.

3.0 rating

Leave a Comment

Español / English

Subscribe to e-mail bulletin:
Recent Tweets