FutureWire - futurism and emerging technology

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FON Could Re-define Wi-Fi

So-called "mesh" wireless networking, in which users can access wi-fi Internet through one of many local hotspots, finally has a champion -- FON, a Spanish company that hopes to combine social networking with $5 wireless routers for its members to share their access points and create a ubiquitous network of hot spots.

The key to FON's success will supposedly be its portal, through which network users will need to pass, and on which business members can purchase ad space. Users wishing to acccess the network but not sharing an access point can do so fot $3 per day, versus $10 per day to access many other wi-fi networks.

Some observers remain dubious as to how much revenue this will generate, but FON's approach is, if nothing else, an innovative attempt to get inexpensive wi-fi access into underserved areas.

Sources: Red Herring, Futurismic