Fon Makes Entire Wi-Fi Network Free In Japan

People of Japan are using their smartphones during the earthquake and tsunami tragedies to share news and pictures but with damaged infrastructure, the cellular networks are struggling. To keep information flowing, Madrid-based Fon quickly acted to open up one million free Wi-Fi hotspots.

The Strange Tale of Wi-Fi Startup Whisher

Back in 2006, when Wi-Fi was all the rage, we saw many startups paint a future in which we’d be able to hop from one hot spot to another seamlessly, sharing the bandwidth for free when we could and buying it when we had to. Well, the future turned out to be entirely different.

Whisher, a Wi-Fi company that launched with much fanfare at DEMO in January 2007, sold itself to, a hot-spot services company, sometime earlier this year, according to founder and Chief Technology Officer Mike Puchol. The sale came close on the heels of the firing of CEO Ferran Moreno in October 2008. Now while for most companies, such a sale would signal the end of the story, with Whisher it was the start of a new one. As part of its preparation to merge operations with, Whisher launched an internal audit that turned up certain irregularities, which in turn led to a full-blown investigative audit. What it discovered wasn’t good. Read More about The Strange Tale of Wi-Fi Startup Whisher

Sprint, Cogent Reconnect Networks For Now

Sprint (s FON) and Cogent networks are back talking to each other — at least temporarily. After the two companies severed networks on October 30, there has been wide spread criticism of the severing of the networks.

Coping with FON-liness

FON showed great promise, attacking the fragmented wifi hotspot market and placing pressure on 3G broadband providers by harnessing the energy of the very people that would benefit from its service. The promise of a disruptive user-owned global wifi network was a large part of the company’s marketing, playing on the iconography and language of revolution. With $22m in funding from Google, Skype and venture capitalists, the company seemed poised for success…so what went wrong?

Making Sense of Mobile Broadband Options

For people who work on the web, getting access to the Internet is vital. If we can’t connect to our colleagues and projects online, we can’t earn a living. However, we can’t always stay attached to our home base and therefore we need a way to stay online while we’re on the go. Let’s give you a breakdown of the options for getting online on the go.

Cellular Options:

Mobile phone operators in the United States have been investing billions into building out their mobile broadband networks. Of the four major mobile carriers, three (Sprint/Nextel, Verizon and AT&T) provide high speed mobile broadband to their customers. The little brother of the bunch, T-Mobile, is still only delivering a slow EDGE network to subscribers but are rumored to be rolling out a 3G network soon.

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Whisher Adds a Symbian App

screenshotUpdated: Whisher has sent this special offer to our readers. They are giving away WiFi Out credit to GigaOM readers, and you can get the details here. The deal allows you to get free WiFi at Starbucks, Hilton Hotels, International airports and other locations.

Whisher, which provides access to Wi-Fi hotspots around the world in exchange for access on users’ own home or business networks, has unveiled a client that allows access to its hotspots on Nokia Symbian (N81, N82 or E61) phones. The move is a smart extension of Whisher’s service offering; Nokia has been including Wi-Fi chipsets in many of its smartphones and has built a strong market share.

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P2P voice on the PSP: Skype arrives

SkyeponpspDid you pick up one of the slimmer and lighter Sony PlayStationPortables, aka: the PSP-2000? If you did, there’s a present for you in the form of a firmware upgrade. Version 3.90 adds Skype to your Network options which can be paired with your PSP headset for voice calls on the P2P network. The timing is dead on since we saw Skype on this and many other devices at CES: the word from the Skype folks was that we’d see this upgrade in late January and here we are.(via Engadget)