NEW YORK & MADRID--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Fon, the global WiFi network, today announced it is expanding its wildly popular “give a little, get a lot” model of a community-built hotspot network with a new, enhanced WiFi router. Fon members simply share a bit of their home WiFi and in turn get free access at all other Fon hotspots worldwide. Fon’s network has grown 50% this year alone and now stands at 12 million WiFi hotspots, making it the largest WiFi network in the world. Most of these hotspots are located across Europe, Asia and South America, and Fon is now looking to build its footprint even more by intensifying its focus in the United States.
“When we defined the new Fonera, we were specifically thinking of the WiFi needs of U.S. households. People want WiFi in all corners of their homes. They also want to give WiFi to their guests in a simple way.”
Enhancing the “Give a Little, Get a Lot” Model
The new Fonera incorporates classic Fon sharing features that split a WiFi signal into two: a private signal for owner use, and a shared signal that is available for the owner’s guests and the rest of the Fon network. The owner of a Fonera gets free and unlimited access to the entire Fon network of 12 million hotspots, a benefit that millions of Fon users around the world have already come to depend on.
Fon has designed a brand new social and secure way to give houseguests WiFi access by integrating Facebook into the Fonera. With the explosion of mobile data usage it’s natural for people to get onto WiFi anywhere they are, including at a friend’s home. However, WiFi passcodes are not always handy and often not memorable. The new Fonera addresses this friction point by enabling people who are Facebook friends of the owner to connect without a password. It also has the benefit of separating your traffic and your friends traffic with different WiFi signals, further enhancing the security and privacy of your WiFi network.
The Fonera can also serve to extend an existing WiFi router’s signal. A single WiFi router often does not provide complete coverage in a home, especially in the U.S. where homes tend to be larger. As a result, it is common to have an issue with spotty coverage in areas like basements, attics or backyards. With a few simple configuration steps, the Fonera can be set up as a WiFi bridge, making it a practical addition even in homes that already have a WiFi router. The new Fonera is so small it fits into the palm of your hand and comes with 802.11n compatibility and a powerful antenna.
“When we defined the new Fonera, we were specifically thinking of the WiFi needs of U.S. households. People want WiFi in all corners of their homes. They also want to give WiFi to their guests in a simple way.” says Martin Varsavsky, Founder and CEO of Fon. “Combining those features with the unique Fon community concept, which gives you a free ticket to use millions of hotspots around the world for free, you have what we think is the most attractive WiFi router in the market.”
Fon has seen tremendous success with its prior routers with more than 4 million Foneras sold in the last 3 years. While end customers can purchase Foneras directly, the majority of the routers are sold in collaboration with mobile operators who distribute them to their subscribers to actively manage the data load on their networks.
Fon’s exponential growth has been driven by successful partnerships with leading telcos around the world. In many countries, Fon is built into the service provided by telecom companies as a benefit for their customers. For example, in the United Kingdom, every British Telecom customer has Fon functionality built into their existing BT router.
Fon currently has partnerships with a dozen of the world’s largest telecom brands including British Telecom, SoftBank Japan, SFR France, Oi Brazil and Deutsche Telekom. Earlier this year, Fon announced a strategic partnership with AT&T where respective subscribers can easily access each others networks.
Availability of New Fonera
The new Fonera will be available in the Fon Store and on Amazon for $59 in the US and €39 in Europe* starting in November.
Customers will gain automatic access to global Fon hotspots upon activating their Fonera. To learn more about the new Fonera, visit http://fonera.fon.com.
*Excluding United Kingdom, Croatia, The Netherlands, Russia, Germany and Greece.
Fon was founded in February 2006 by a serial entrepreneur Martin Varavsky with the goal of blanketing the world with WiFi. Today the company is a global WiFi leader with 12 million hotspots around the world. Fon has offices in Madrid, London, Tokyo and New York. Its partners include Belgacom (Belgium), BT (UK), Deustche Telekom (Germany), Hrvatski Telekom (Croatia), KPN (Netherlands), MTC (Russia), Netia (Poland), Oi (Brazil), SFR (France), Softbank (Japan) and ZON (Portugal). For more information, please visit www.fon.com.