If you haven’t heard about FON lately you definately need to get a fresh look into your feed subscriptions. Reading FON’s founder Martin Varsavsky‘s post on his sale to Swisscom he’s preparing, I was wandering if this move could be the European answer to Google’s Wi-Fi plans?
Quite amazing about FON is that it’s not even launched yet! The official launch date is November 7th in Spain.
Here’s what Martin says on the deal:
“Now why would I team up with Swisscom to launch FON? Because I think that FON is exactly what Swisscom needs to really have wifi coverage in Europe. FON is a piece of software that turns everyone´s wifi access point into a part of the FON network. And to roam with Eurospot will make us grow faster. FON is my answer to the 3G fiasco. FON is free to all of those who contribute access points, the rest pay to use it: a fair deal.” … “FON is the P2P of wifi.”
Good working urban wi-fi networks are gonna be crucial for the rapid deployment of innovative products and services within the new convergence space.
The key for this new wi-fi VNO business is going to be security of course. Google seems to have it. Nokia showed its concerns too about protecting mobile devices and networks. As for now, knowing Martin’s history, I’m leaving the advantage of the doubt to FON on the reliability of its software its gonna release soon.
But what does Google has that the other wi-fi VNO players don’t have? Localized advertising. Just drop Google’s advertising network and system into a wi-fi network and we understand why Google wants to move into this space.
Read August Jackson‘s post why:
“The Wi-Fi user logs in (and pays, if need be) to the Wi-Fi service at the local coffee shop, airport lounge or wherever. The user then fires up the VPN software and is good to go for secure browsing over inherently insecure Wi-Fi. No doubt the security client is going to deliver localized advertising in exchange for the security service. The user gets secure connectivity and Google gets to serve up localized ads. Provided you trust Google as the secure VPN provider for your now-encrypted traffic, that’s not a bad deal.”
FON makes sense because, as an end-user, I don’t have any problem with sharing my wi-fi network at home and while on the move I love to connect wherever I am with whatever device to whatever network… as long as it’s secure!
Enabling Next Generation Mobile Products & Services
Rudy De Waele is CEO & co-founder of Nyota Media - the world's first growth agency for innovative African entrepreneurs, start-ups and international companies that use technology to improve the lives of Africans.
He is a Mobile Strategist, Business Angel and Appreneur with over 18 years of experience in Internet technology, specialising in mobile innovation and start ups since 1999.
Rudy has curated ground-breaking presentations in Mobile Trends 2020 (2010), Mobile Trends 2020 Africa (2011), and most recently Mobile Opportunities in Africa - Engaging the next Billion (2012).
He has consulted for Telefonica, Vodafone, MTN, Orange, Telcel, Millicom, Samsung, Nokia, BlackBerry, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Admob (acquired by Google), Louis Vuitton, Philippe Starck, Young & Rubicam, Cheil Worldwide.
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