Last night I was having dinner with C.J. Cherng, the very able CEO of Taiwanese ISP Seednet, a Fon partner. During dinner we were talking about how global the Internet is and yet how different local rules are for ISPs around the world. On one side, there´s the US, who invented liberalization and, after being successfully copied by the whole world, retreated into a duopoly situation that is hurting the US consumer. On the other, there´s Europe, which implemented unbundling to such an extent that now European ISPs are the most competitive in the world. ISPs, like another Fon partner Neuf in France, have a menu of choices that would make any American forget about French rudeness and want to move there. For around $40 you get free national and international long distance, up to 20meg download speeds, a TIVO like service, cable TV channels, storage, mail, etc. And if you are an Internet fan and you happen to live in Sweden, then Labs2 offers you 100MB both ways for 89 euros a month.
We have been contacted by different ISPs around the world, many coming through our Fonero leaders in different countries. We are making our first deals with Glocalnet in Sweden and Jazztel (which I founded) in Spain to be FON ready. These two companies combined sell over 3000 new dsl wifi connections per day, which means many new FON hotspots per day launched. We are also beginning negotations in the USA and France.
Our strategy vis a vis ISPs is simple. FON will provide our software free of charge to all the ISPs who would like to sell their services FON ready. Why would ISPs want to do this? For two reasons. The first one is that while before you are FON ready your offer is something like “a ton of bandwidth for very little money”, after you are FON ready your offer is “pay for bandwidth at home and roam the world for free with FON” (Linus) or “milk your wifi” (Bill). For the consumer is the same 20/30 euros/dollars per month but the offer is radically improved at 0 extra cost to you, the ISP. Now the OTHER very important reason for ISPs to sell their dsl/cable/wifi routers FON ready is that FON shares revenues made from ALIENS (users of FON hotspots) with the ISPs so you can turn all your customers into additional revenue sources for you, the ISP. And of course the time has come to forget about all the business plans to build a hotspot network. The largest hotspot networks in the world have less than 20,000 hotspots. With the sales of Jazztel and Glocalnet and a few other ISPs plus the spontaneous downloads that started this week at our site, we can have more FON hotspots in a few months than T Mobile, Boingo, The Cloud, etc.
FON and its ISP partners will be magnets for wififons applications, for Nintendo, Sony wifi devices, digital cameras with wifi, mp3 players with wifi, etc. It´s time to build the global mobile internet. First with wifi and later, when available, with wifi/wimax routers at people´s homes. If you are an ISP we can get you started in a week. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get an information package.
Our strategy vis a vis ISPs around the world is the same as the one in Spain. We want to team up with an ISP in a market and allow only that ISP to sell their DSL/Cable services with FON Inside. All others who want to be foneros, of course, can download our soft, buy the right routers (if they don´t have a Linux), enable wifi access point and get going with FON. But we think it´s easier to team up with one ISP who will make this simple claim to the potential customer. With our competitor you pay 30 euros per month for bandwidth and you get bandwidth at home. With us you pay the same 30 euros, but you get bandwidth all over the world for free! We have FON INSIDE.