Monday, February 06, 2006

Foneros

Are you a Fonero yet? Then you could leverage the largest wi-fi network in the world.

After skype, this could be the next killer idea from Europe. It has already caught on in Europe and is making its way in to US now and already boasts of over 30,000 hot spots. If skype took few years to become a worldwide phenomenon and change the telco industry forever, fon is getting up there in just few months. So much so that some Internet giants like Google and Skype are pumping USD 21+ million in to this company. Not bad for a company that just started in November 2005.

The concept is very simple. Just share your home network (wifi hot spot) and become a Fonero. Then, you could use fon wi-fi networks wherever you travel for free or for minimal charge. So, how do you share your bandwidth? You do so by doing a firmware update to your and router and instantly become part of the global fon network. Interestingly the users are grouped in to three categories Bills, Linuses & Aliens. While Linuses share their network for free, Bills charge for their service. Aliens are not a fonero and pay to use the Fon network.

This concept is not new, Boingo and Cometa have come and gone. But what is different is the egalitarian nature of this conept with a revenue model which seems to be better than the current wifi pay for use wifi hotspot business models.

To be sure, there are hurdles like privacy and security, but that hasn't prevented Cisco and Skype joining Fon board.

It might take a few years for it to track in India but this fon company is worth a watch.

Related Links
Fon
Google News
Fon Fun