Today we’re officially launching our partnership with Oi, the largest telco in Brazil and the second largest telco in Latin America. This means that as of today, Fon has entered the Latin American market. With Fon you share a little WiFi at home and you roam the world for free connecting to other community members. Fon grows its membership directly by people buying Fon wifi routers known as Foneras at our shop or by becoming ADSL/Cable/Fiber customers of our telecom partners who deliver their routers with Fon inside.
After our partnership announcement with Belgacom in June, this continues to be a successful year for Fon in terms of partnerships, and it is only the beginning of many more partnerships to come that will soon be announced.
Despite the fact that we just launched today, we already have over 100 active Fon Oi hotspots in key locations in Rio de Janeiro’s popular districts, Ipanema and Leblon (which you can find on our hotspot map), giving Brazilians and visitors a flavor of what Oi-Fon will be as it is deployed all over Brazil.
Brazil, and especially Rio, is a great place to start. Just this month I came across this article saying that Brazilians are the world’s most intensive mobile internet users. And smartphone sales are also growing quickly. In addition to that, the millions of tourists visiting Rio each year will find our Oi-Fon hotspot network very useful to stay connected while avoiding to pay high roaming costs. This will come in especially handy in the future, with Brazil hosting important events like the FIFA World Cup in 2014 or the 2016 Summer Olympics. And maybe even the Pope will connect to our network when he visits Rio in 2013 🙂
Our global footprint is increasing at a faster pace every day. We hit our 4 millionth hotspot in May of this year, and now we already have more than 4.5 million hotspots worldwide. And Brazil is only the first step we are taking to spread our hotspot network over many more Latin American countries. We hope to have more news about partnerships in Latin America soon, a region very dear to my heart as I was born in Argentina and as many Argentines spent many of my childhood vacations in Brazil.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars