Here’s a new way to WiFi enabled cities that we at FON are undertaking in Oslo together with the 4G operator iBand and the billboard company Clear Channel. The basic idea here is that billboards are strategically placed in cities to be highly visible. They are placed where crowds go. And so is WiFi. For months now FON has been in conversations with billboard companies around the world about this opportunity including CBS Outdoor and others. And now we are launching our first deployment.

The problem with billboards is to get DSL or Cable lines to them. 4G however makes this easy. For a 4G to FON WiFi converter, all you need is electricity and that is already available in billboards. So three companies, iBand who provides the 4G, FON who provides the WiFi and Clear Channel, who provides the billboards, have teamed up to accomplish this in Oslo. Now wouldn’t you be more likely to look at a billboard if you knew that it provided you with WiFi?

Here’s the press release.

Press Release March 21st 2007

500 new wifi hotspots in Oslo

The mobile broadband company iBand is launching 500 new WiFi hotspots in Oslo together with Clear Channel and the net phenomenon Fon. During this summer you will be able to use this unique offer throughout most of Oslo.

This comprehensive cooperation is about iBand supplying the infrastructure for mobile broadband internet, while Fon, which is doing their first deal in Scandinavia, delivers the WiFi technology, and the third partner, Clear Channel delivers the Wifi locations through their billboards in Oslo.

iBand provides the mobile broadband service iBurst. In this cooperation, iBand will make it possible for different Fon WiFi locations in Oslo to work. iBand is currently providing truly mobile broadband in Oslo but is also preparing deployment in other large cities in Norway says Sales & Marketing director Christian Lind.

We are planning to build out the biggest cities in Norway, and are also considering taking this concept to the other cities. Lind also says that the next natural step is to take this abroad.

The three players are now introducing a great offer in Oslo that will enable WiFi broadband Internet access close to Clear Channels boards, in addition to iBand’s iBurst coverage.

A WiFi package from Fon with continuous net access will cost about 3 Euro per day or 2 Euro per day if you buy a 10 day subscription. The payment is the same all over the world says Ola Ahlvarson from Fon. Fon is the biggest company in the world to deliver WiFi with 320 000 FONeros around the world.

This cooperation builds on a technology which is highly user focused which will change the telecom sector says Jan Tore Endresen from Clear Channel.

For additional information please contact:

Christian Lind +47 2244 8222

About iBand

iBand is Europe’s first 4th generation (4G) full IP mobile broadband operator.

Established in 2003, iBand is Europe’s first operator to obtain a mobile broadband licenses in Norway, Denmark and The Netherlands in 2005. In September 2006, iBand was Europe’s first operator to launch commercial mobile broadband services based on the commercially proven iBurst technology (IEEE802.20 pre-selected and ANSI standard) in Norway.

iBand’s commercial strategy is to deliver highly secure, high reliability, quality mobile broadband voice and data services direct to business customers and students and through wholesale arrangement, to online brands and Telecom service providers.

About FON

FON is the largest WiFi Community in the world. It was launched in February 2006, and wants to stimulate growth of WiFi Internet access through its bandwidth sharing Community. The FON WiFi Routers, which are available for $/€ 5 to those who join the Community, have a specific Software installed that enables the FON member to share his bandwidth with the FON Community. FON currently has 140,000 registered users, and plans to grow to 1 million WiFi Access Points by the end of next year. FON’s investors include Google, Skype, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital.

About Clear Channel

Clear Channel Outdoor, based in Phoenix, Arizona, is the world’s largest outdoor advertising company with over 881,000 displays in more than 60 countries across 6 continents. In the United States, the company operates over 155,000 advertising displays and has a presence in 45 of the top 50 Designated Market Areas. It also operates airport, rail, taxi and mall advertising businesses worldwide. Its Spectacolor (U.S.) and DEFI (international) divisions are the global market leaders in spectacular sign displays, including in New York’s Times Square. Adshel(TM) is the company’s international street furniture division, which operates more than 3,500 municipal advertising contracts worldwide.

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No Comments

freechelmi on March 22, 2007  · 

Well done , wery good idea, if the business model is working and such ISP want to cooperate, this is good news for wifi access even if it’s not free ….

But please stop saying ” with 320 000 hot spots” , the truth is far from that, you even talked about 120000 and it’s even less than that. ( right now 18000 active in Europe)

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 22, 2007  · 


I have a blog, I post every day and where do I say that we have 320K hotspots?

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Euronerd on March 22, 2007  · 

Freechelmi, of course, refers to this blog:
“Fon is the biggest company in the world to deliver WiFi with 320 000 hot spots around the world.”

You could argue that it is an intention, not a fact, because a few paragraph’s later you seem to state:
“FON currently has 140,000 registered users”
And that is probably way less than you expected.

But it looks like you indiscriminately copied some press-release, so you would probably want us to see it as a quote, right ?
Just like the interesting router price, 5 $/Euro it says….

I wonder, do you actually read your own blog before publishing it?

3.0 rating

Kasper on March 22, 2007  · 

A superb idea – straightforward smart! Please do the same in Denmark 🙂

The companies to talk to in Denmark would be JDC Decaux and ClearChannel.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 22, 2007  · 

Do I say this in my blog???

Let me look and see, if I do I apologize to all my readers.

We have 320 and probably more people who registered as Foneros and said they wanted to be foneros, but that is NOT active Fonspots.

3.0 rating

euronerd on March 22, 2007  · 

You have a problem.
You write a blog and include a press release.
The press release clearly states “Fon is the biggest company in the world to deliver WiFi with 320 000 hot spots around the world.”
Now, maybe you don’t support this press release. Maybe you want to deny anything said….

But for heaven sake, do NOT behave childishly, suggesting we are incapable readers.
I will not fall into the trap to ridicule your statement about the number of 320 registered Foneros.

3.0 rating

Daniel on March 23, 2007  · 

Is 4G and WiMax the same thing? I thought this technology was still under development.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 23, 2007  · 


you are right. It was a mistake. I cut and paste what the press people gave me and it is wrong.

3.0 rating

Martin Varsavsky on March 23, 2007  · 


Some people call wimax 4G.

3.0 rating

Stefan on March 25, 2007  · 

4G is more an collection of different (wireless) technologies than just “the next step” after 3G.

3.0 rating

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