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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

FON is a relatively new term in the blogsphere. FON is nothing but a software program which allows its users to share the WiFi broadband acces. They call it as WiFi revolution(In the official Site). The FON users are called as "Foneros". The Foneros can be of three types, they are Linus, Bill and Alien. Linus is the user who uses WiFi for Free and also shares his/her WiFi for Free with others. The concept is, share your WiFi bandwidth at home and use WiFi all over the world(For Free).Bill, As the name suggests Bill is the user who shares his/her WiFi for some money and pays 50% of what the Alien users pay for using FON. Aliens are the users who pay some modest fee for using FON and they never share their WiFi. FON is still in beta stage and available only for Linus users. As of now FON is covered only in US and Spain, the company said rest of the countries will be covered soon. FON was unvield recently in Jan, 2006 at an Oreilly conference. Martin Varsavsky is the man behind the spain based FON company.

Will it Fly??
As noted above FON is called as the WiFi revolution by the company which promotes it. Before concluding whether it is a revolution or not we have to weigh some obvious things about FON.

First thing is that, it is still in the beta stage. So we are not sure whether it is secure enough to open our WiFi access for everyone. Internet, apart from its benifits, it is also notorious for virususes, hacking etc. So security will be a prime concern in FON.

The second thing about FON is the issue of sharing WiFi bandwidth openly. Will the Broad band(ISP) companies allow their users to share the WiFi openly to everyone? It is an hindrance for FON, but still there are some companies which allows users to share their WiFi through FON. Mind it, only some companies allows that, not many. Will many ISP's follow the suit? Only time gives the answer, lets wait and see. The third factor is you need a router for using FON as a linus user. For now the only compaitable router is Linksys WRT54G/GS/GL. So there are not many options for the router.

And finally FON is dependent on WiFi and ISP providers, since WiFi is not as popular as a wired connection there is a long way to go for FON. WiFi may be popular is some countries, but it is not largely popular in third world countries. By saying not popular i mean WiFi did not reach most of the homes & companies yet.

Pros of FON

Being as a startup does it gets the attention of biggies? Yes it is. In february FON recieved funding of $21.7 Million from Google, Skype and other VC's & it had started becoming the buzzword in net. So thats a great boost for FON. The three cons of FON which are specified above are just difficulties that should be overcome to make FON a success. What i think is FON will be successful in the long run, but it will take more time to fly high!!!

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