My name is Martin Varsavsky. Varsavsky means that I come from Warsaw.
The thing is I don’t come from Warsaw myself, but my family did. The Varsavskys went from Warsaw to Argentina in the 1800s. I don’t speak Polish, but I have been to Poland a few times and I was always very well received there, especially when I was in Poland during a WEF meeting that celebrated the entrance of Poland in the European Union and it was called the Varsavsky’s summit (Warsaw’s Summit). I would walk around with my name tag and people would joke that it was my conference. I also very well remember my first trip to Poland in 2001.
I had just gotten my pilot’s license and I wanted to do something special, so I decided that I would fly a single engine piston plane I had, a Bonanza, from Madrid to Warsaw. When I landed there I went to check in at a hotel that looked nice, asked for the hotel rate and they quoted me a certain price which I found reasonable. I don’t remember how much it was now, but what I do remember is that when I gave my passport to check in and the employee saw my name he started to speak with me in Polish. I then told him the whole story of how that was my first day in Poland and how I had arrived in my plane and he smiled, loved the story and said: “Mr Varsavsky, we will give you a 50% discount, welcome to Poland”. And they did!!!
Now, a few years later, as I saw Poland doing so well on the economic front –although with a lot of catching up to do–, I thought FON could do particularily well there. Poland is a very community oriented country and FON being so community based, I thought it would be a natural. When I was talking to Niklas, my partner at Skype, about this and who to team up with in Poland he mentioned ONET and he said that ONET had done a fantastic job with Skype. So after meeting Lukasz and the other great managers at ONET, we became convinced that going into Poland as FON and working with ONET was certainly our best choice.
I am so glad we just announced that we are partners with the largest Internet company in Poland to promote FON!!! We´ll do it under the joint brand “Onet FON” and, in order to promote “Onet FON” WiFi Access Points, Onet will build hotspots in Poland and promote Onet FON routers in its upcoming DSL offering, so that Onet subscribers automatically become members of the FON community and are able to surf for free on all FON Community Access Points in the World.
Here you can read the press release and below the media coverage.
DMN – Fon And Onet (“Onet Fon”) To Develop A Community Based Wifi Network In Poland
Content Wire – Community Based Wifi Network In Poland
Calibre – Fon and Onet (“Onet Fon”) to develop a community based WiFi network in Poland
Stock Junction – Fon And Onet (“Onet Fon”) To Develop A Community Based Wifi Network In Poland
IT Analysis – Fon And Onet (“Onet Fon”) To Develop A Community Based Wifi Network In Poland
Evergreen – Fon and Onet plan Polish WiFi
Wireless Warrior – Fon And Onet (“Onet Fon”) To Develop A Community Based Wifi
Follow Martin Varsavsky on Twitter: twitter.com/martinvars