Fon’s new Gramofon router/cloud music player is just the beginning of the company’s foray beyond Wi-Fi. Speaking at Gigaom’s Structure Connection conference, COO Alex Puregger said Fon is exploring payments and advertising services.
The European startup is building a crowdsourced network composed of members’ home and business Wi-Fi. Instabridge says it’s now hosting 20,000 sessions and adding 1,000 new access points to its network each day.
Fon is hoping to generate buzz for its community Wi-Fi service from the hip residents of Brooklyn. It’s targeting the borough’s downtown for a dense hotspot and residential deployment.
Fon is introducing its community Wi-Fi model to the U.S., selling its $59 router on Amazon. The idea is to create a shared bandwidth network that any Fon member can access for free.
Deutsche Telekom is considering investing in Fon, the crowdsourced Wi-Fi provider. Though the deal is far from certain, DT could benefit greatly from a close relationship with Fon’s millions-strong Wi-Fi community.
France’s Free Mobile launched with enormous hoopla in January, but it sat on a key component of its innovative mobile strategy until today. Free has opened up 4 million Wi-Fi hotspots to its smartphone customers, creating the world’s largest carrier-run mobile data offload network.