Over 12 million people around the world are already signed up to Wi-Fi hotspot network Fon, but the connection-sharing company now has its sights set on America as its new US headquarters opens up in New York City.
The appeal of Fon is that it offers a Wi-Fi network with a difference, allowing registered users to connect wherever a Fon router is present. Users who buy the specialized Fon router connect it to their current Wi-Fi and thereby allow any other users in the area to log on and use the internet for free. This creates a network of shared Wi-Fi where users give access in order to get access, without incurring any additional fees after they’ve purchased the router.
Fon got its start in Spain in 2006, after receiving $22 million from venture capital firms to begin setting up and connecting local Wi-Fi networks. Seven years later and the service has seen a huge expansion largely across Europe and in Japan, with over 3 million subscribers in the UK alone.
Whilst the network depends on the users to set up and share as many connections as possible across the city, Fon will be partnering with US cell-service providers. The partnership is advantageous for cell carriers since it will help to ease traffic on already over-worked cellular data networks. So far there are only a handful of Fon users in New York City, but the firm hopes that their grassroots approach to connectivity will soon find its feet with American users.