back to article Fon community embraces GSM

Hotspot sharing community Fon has signed a deal with Ubiquisys to put GSM cells into Fon hotspots, just as soon as they can get a network operator to let them. Fon users are already able to get internet connectivity via each other's hotspots, but the new agreement between Fon and Ubiquisys is intended to allow members of the …

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Perfect opporunity for UK01?

One way to exploit their licence at someone else's cost? And possibly one way to get coverage beyond Newham...

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Go

Low power GSM

There were a load of low power GSM licenses bought a few years ago for 30k - surely Ubi or fon can buy one of those and then build there own modern (simple) GSM / GPRS core with a roaming deal with one of the big 4 operators for national coverage?

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BT deal very useful

If your own broadband goes titsup.

Of course it assumes you're already a member... :)

Having said that there are about four or five accessible FON spots from my living room.

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I'd sign up

I'd happily sign up if FON did something like this, assuming it ment that I could get free Wifi from BT OpenZone when I'm out and about.

I used to have BT Broadband, and although I never did use a FON hotspot, I did enable it and I was happy enough to give up some bandwidth on the understanding that I would get free Wifi from other FON hotspots and 500 mins from BT OpenZone.

Rob

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Grenade

Screw the operators....

Only one of them is owned by a UK PLC.....

Release the 900Mhz 3g licence for this. Give the power back to the people.../BT.

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How will this work?

If O2 (for example) does a deal with FON, does that mean that the FON femtocells will be O2 cells, and only people with O2 handsets will be able to use them? You usually can't "roam" onto another operators network even when there's a really weak signal from your own operator available, so how would users of the other networks take advantage of this?

On a slightly different note, I recently got to try out a Blackberry handset with UMA support in the US. Make a WiFi connection to a bog standard wifi router and make your calls over the internet. Apparently this even allows you to make "US" calls when connected to a WiFi router outside the US, at local call rates. It should pair quite happily with an ordinary FON router, though obviously the vast majority of phone handsets don't support WiFi, so they can't use "UMA" (whatever that stands for).

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Fon Blogger

We're embracing this? Says who? Actually, it's more like Fon is just doing it's own thing, as usual, and suggesting that they have legions of ecstatic fans. I'm not aware that the topic has even come up on the English Fon discussion forum http://boards.fon.com

This is how this deal will work out in the end: Fon will sign on a carrier who agrees to share a small fee with Fon for every call their customers make on a Fon-tocell. Fon will force Foneros (members who have purcha$ed Fon's router and maintain Fon wifi hotspots) to give free wifi to those carrier's customers. Foneros won't get to make free calls, and Foneros won't get a cut of the money Fon rakes in. Foneros will be reminded that they get free wifi around the world if they're lucky enough to find a Fon hotspot. No value added for the Foneros. That's about it. It's the same deal every time. Fon makes money selling their cheapo, locked-down proprietary merchandise, then these suckers have to give free wifi to new Fon e-partners.

AustinTX, Fon blogger for 3 years.

http://elfonblog.fondoo.net

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Another dumb FON initative

As an Ex Fonero, it's just another example where FON are claiming publicity and the users pick up the bill.

When I joined FON it was simple, you used my hotspot, I used yours. Simple, easy and you didn't mind losing a bit of bandwidth now and again as you should pick it up when out.

It changed with the BTFon deal. BT paid FON money to co-brand it . BTFon lets anyone with BT broadband and a HomeHub can opt into the scheme. Thats fine, same as before. However if you don't have a HomeHub because they were only available to the option 3 customers for free for a long time and most other people bought a netgear/linksys/dlink box as they were cheaper, then that's fine too in BTFON land, they'll let you roam and when you get a homehub you'll be opted in.

Thats blatently onesided, it means anyone on BT broadband gets to use my Wifi but I can't share there's as the FON firmware won't work on anything other than specific routers, so the average netgear/linksys/dlink box just won't let you in. Oh and it won't work on BT Openzone, only the HomeHub places, so places like motorway services / airports etc where it may be useful won't work, as they are "premium hotspots". BT users can (and always have been able to) use Openzone as part of the BT contract, standard FON users get a payment screen. Hardly fair to people who signed up to share there broadband in exchange for something back.

And let's not forget as part of the BTFon Deal you can't buy cheap FON routers anymore if you have a UK address, the BT contract allegedly states they can't be discounted in the UK, and they cost £30, they also cost $30 or €30 elsewhere. Not a bad exchange rate for FON or BT.

This idea is the same. If I did this I'd pay for a FON Femto Cell, and the services (broadband connection and Power) and get very little back.

FON needs to re-think it's business model, or rather think if it has a viable one now.

Wifi is becoming free to all, it's free in most McD's now and many hotels, restaurants,pubs (Wetherspoons chain offer free wifi) and coffee shops offer it to get customers in, no-one is going to pay when they can use a free connection and sit in comfort with a coffee or a beer. Free Wifi is just another marketing tool to get people through the doors.

So what did I do? reflashed the router and gave up being a member. FON WAS a good idea, unfortunatly the money for getting in bed with the big boys has means the little guy has been left out, and most have walked away, Fon see one less fon spot on the map. But heck the check from BT cleared so no loss overall. But then it is, less people are offering the connection, so less chance of using it, so less reason to sign up. It's not Wifi Everywhere as they say, it's wifi in back streets and housing estates, I've never once had a signal in a town centre where it might actually be useful.

Sorry but FON is a dead horse. Wifi is becoming free in many places as people expect it as a service, places it's not free are usually areas (like airports and hotels) where companies pick up the cost, elsewhere people fall back on mobile data, (3g, GRPS) it's not ideal but already paid for in your phone contract or Dongle bungle, so why pay again?

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FAIL

Shouldn't this be 'Fon community embraces UMTS'?

I am not aware of Ubiquisys supporting GSM in their femtocells?

Checking the press release on the Ubiquisys site they only mention 3G femtocells - there is no mention of GSM.

http://www.ubiquisys.com/ub3b/pressreleases.php?id=120&120=120

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Fon is BT....

I thought that BT bought into Fon? BT is one of 12 who have a lowpower 2g licence. The fact that finally a 2g femto is available is positve news.

Magnus

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