We already have three FONERO leaders outside of Spain. They have been selected out of 42 candidates from 17 countries. They are Yann Mauchamp in France. Hilarion Del Olmo in Argentina and Ola Ahlvarsson in Sweden. We will launch FON at SIME in Stockholm on Nov 10th. We will start FON in Spain at SIMO on Nov 15th and we will launch in France at Les Blogs on Dec 5th. We still don´t have a start up date for Argentina. We are waiting to make decisions on other countries although we have amazing leaders from USA, for example. The FON proposition is simple: a software download that turns your wifi into a hotspot to be shared with other foneros. In this way you will continue paying for bandwidth at home but have bandwidth both at home and throughout your country. The execution of the FON strategy however is not so simple and that´s why we need FONERO leaders who can spread the message locally. 2006 will be the year of the wifi gadgets. Other than laptops and pda´s we will see wifi ipod type devices, wifi playstations, nintendo revolution, wifi phones or wifi digital cameras. But what are all those good for without a wifi nation? Get your toys out of your bath tub! Join FON.
I was thinking this morning why it was that Swisscom, Telefonica and T-Online, who have tried to set up their own WiFi networks, failed in their endeavour and why I think FON will be successful at it.
The best explanation I came up with is that chaos is sometimes better than order. Let me explain: a telecom engineer would never plan the kind of network FON is going to have. When you see that thousands of volunteers who have signed up and sent us their email addresses, objectively, the FON network can be seen as chaotic and random.
An engineer who designs networks for a telecom wants the best possible coverage with the smallest number of access points and won’t even try to aim for coverage where there is no market. At FON, however, we are putting in motion a movement in which access points that already exist all sync together and form a same network. Telecoms as we know them work like governments and we work like civil society. What is our advantage? The same advantage the market has over planning. Juantomás García puts it this way: “Imagine you had to plan the distribution of all the food that enters Manhattan in one day. Not even the most efficient government could plan the distribution of the amazing variety of Japanese, Chinese, Italian, French, Jewish, Latino, Oriental and North American food that is eaten every day in the Big Apple. Millions of individuals taking individual decisions are the ones who make it happen.”. This is why, with extremely basic marketing (basically, this blog and other blogs), without any internet infrastructure and with very simple but very clever software, FON will be able to build what billions of dollars spent by telecoms couldn’t: a WiFi nation.
In Spain, there’s already broadband for everyone, the problem is that it’s very badly distributed. To give and to receive (Linuses) or to share and to charge (Bills) is the solution to this absurd situation. From chaos, we can reach order.
Wifi rocks. When you are within reach nothing beats Wifi. Wimax is not around the corner, it will take years to develop, and if and when it comes it will need a new generation of devices to go along with it. And that is years away as most devices now are going Wifi. The Wifi iPod is around the corner, Wifi digital cameras as well, Playstations with Wifi are all the rage, PDA´s are mostly Wifi enabled now and so are all laptops. Now the paradox about Wifi is that every operator who has tried to build a Wifi network has failed miserably. Nobody seems to have the funds to create a Wifi national network. So coverage is uneven, and that´s the only thing that´s wrong with Wifi. How can we create a Wifi nation? That is the challenge.