Yesterday I spent the morning going over Fon´s billing software and the launch of the Bill model. So far Fon´s 39,000 foneros signed up for the Linus model as that was the only one available. In the Linus model a fonero shares some of its bandwidth to people who pass by his/her home and then gets to roam the world for free. In the Bill model a fonero is an entrepreneur who sells day passes to the Fon community and makes money doing so.
There´s been a lot of debate on how much to charge and share with the Bills at Fon and we are coming close to the conclusion that Fon will charge 2 euros or dollars per 24 hours of usage on any Fon hotspot if the Alien buys 5 days of usage but if they buy only one it will be 3 euros or dollars per day. Of this money half of it will go to the Bills who will sign up with Pay Pal from our partners at eBay in order to get paid by Fon. We are also studying the figure of the Super Bill.
A Super Bill is somebody who buys say 10 routers at a cost of 250 euros, places them around his neighborhood and makes money off all of them. Super Bills build wifi communities that are either free or affordable. Fon believes the time has come for the end of rip off wifi. 2 euros per day is a reasonable amount, 5 euros an hour like people pay now is not. Now if you are a Linus do not fear, Linuses get to use Bills hotspots without paying as Linuses are WiFi donors. And if you are a Bill do not fear Linuses, there are 39,000 Linuses in the world, but there are over 6 billion Aliens! Why do we think Bills are essential? Because at the beginning at Fon if you are a Linus you are sharing with others but there´s very few people who share with you. So Linuses want other Linuses. Bills however are in the opposite situation, as for them other Bills especially nearby are competition and they want to be first, so Fon believes that the pace of adoption of Fon will greatly accelerate with the Bill model. Having said all this it was fun to meet Rene Oberman the other day at the Google Zeitgeist conference in The Grove and confirm that Fon now has more foneros than T Mobile has hotspots. That we are the largest wifi community in the world even before launching the Bills. Now T Mobile has better locations, that´s for sure, and we should find a way to work together as Fon is also the fastest growing wifi community in the world.
We still don´t know exactly when we will launch the Bill model and begin charging but we think this will happen before the end of June. Expect an announcement soon.
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars