Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fon 2008

Today I'm going to take a look at what Fon has accomplished (or lack of for that matter) during 2008 and what we could potentially see this year.

1) We saw the failure of the fontrepreneur program. It was a good idea, but it showed that foneros don't want to put out money and buy routers to help expand the community.

2) Fon started to offer unlimited access to GMAIL and other Google services at all Fonspots. Makes sense since Google provided funding for Fon, but to bad you don't have to authenticate to use these services. So in return, you have no idea who is using your connection.

3) La Fonera 2.0 was first mentioned last April and now is currently selling as a beta model. Firmware being developed by the fonosfera community started off slow, but now things are starting to pick up.

4) Fon raised an additional $9.5 million in funding.

5) Fon and BT started The World’s Biggest Mexican Wave.

6) Martin's Blog: "Why do some Foneros disconnect their Fonera WiFi router?" As if he already didn't know why people do it.

7) Martin releases Fon's economic figures back in May. Too bold of a move, it seemed to cause quite a stir amoungst the community. LINK

8) Change of FON_AP to FON_FREE_INTERNET. Somewhere I missed out on the free part.

9) Fon Russia and Comstar Partnership

10) The ZON@FON WiFi Community in Portugal

11) In July Fon Started a wiki.

12) FON’s partnership with Sony PSP

13) Joikusoft and FON unveil Wi-Fi HotSpot software for Mobile Phones. LINK

14) "One million Foneros!" hahaha...

15) Fon Raised the price of day passes, lowered the price of La Fonera, and limits the number of 15 minute free trials aliens can use.

16) Meraki comes out with their solar powered nodes and shortly afterwards Fon hints at their version of an outdoor fonera model.

17) I'm sure there is more, feel free to comment below.

Now onto 2009.

1) Fon should release a final version of La Fonera 2.0. Hopefully, as long as Fon doesn't screw anything up. The ideas are pretty good for it. As Long as its affordable, I'll buy one.

2) Maybe we'll see an outdoor fonera. More than likely it will be expensive and a piece a crap. It doesn't need to be a fancy router, it just needs to withstand the elements. Something like this will help Fon out a lot. Coverage is a huge issue that Fon has yet to deal with. Most people have their routers deep within their house, where the signal is lucky to reach outside. This doesn't benefit anyone, but the owner of the hotspot. An outdoor fonera will get that precious FON_FREE_INTERNET signal to cover more area and would help Fon and foneros.

3) I know Martin has hinted at this is the past, but maybe we could see a Wireless-N Fonera. Hopefully we won't see this.

4) Fon needs to develop better firmware for La Fonera and La Fonera+, along with new firmware for non-fon routers (linksys, etc...)

5) or Fon could just FAIL.... (always a possibility, really don't want this to happen)

Anyway, 2008 was a fun year for me and My Fon Blog. I saw Fon do some stupid stuff and some good stuff. Personally I'm looking forward to 2009, this could be a big year for Fon. On a side note, I finally got paid from selling passes on my Fon Spot, almost $30. So it is possible to make money from Fon (It took me two years to get there and most of it was made in the last 2 months). So Fon can do good, it just depends on location. If they can continue to expand the community, we might just be getting somewhere. Who knows, we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm pretty sure I missed stuff, so if you have any ideas, comments, or thoughts, feel free to comment below or drop me an email. Have Fon everybody!


  1. Re 2008:

    1) When Fon already only gives Bills 30% of the money made at their Fon hotspots from selling day passes, and further, only distributes it to Bills who make more than $20, entrepreneurs would expect a better deal. Instead, Fon astonishingly chose to give fontrepreneurs an even smaller percentage for their trouble!

    4) Fon raised ONLY 9.5 million, and only from new investors. All previous investors said NO THANKS. And this was before the economic collapse.

    5) Which is just about the stupidest thing i've ever seen Fon investment money wasted on, besides the Fon Link "Sortener" and Cher impersonators strutting around San Francisco with Carmen, the questionably sober bullfighter.

    6) Yeah, Martin is such a player, and we exposed him that time.

    7) Lies and infuriating distortions.

    8) Lies and infuriating distortions.

    9) In Russia, Fon buy YOU (since nobody buy Fon).

    10) In Portugal, Zon buy you.

    11) This was a very smart move, and seems to be working quite well. It should have been done two years earlier, though. I haven't added any entries to it myself, or I could judge how much inconvenient detail gets censored by the admin.

    12) "It's good for Fon! Anything's good for Fon. Shut up shut up shut up!" LOL

    13) Joiku makes a SKIN for their Joikuspot software. They'll make one for anyone - see their website. However, these are not proper Fon hotspots; you can't be a Bill, you don't get credit to roam elsewhere, but Fon will still peddle their wares using your donated resources. Also, Fon re-used the name "FonSpot" for this product, though it was already given to the Linux Pc-based software that was a vestige of Fon's original concept: PC-based ad-hoc wifi hotspots specifically for wifi VOIP handsets.

    14) Bwhaaaa hahaha ha hahaha hahahaha hahaha haha haha hahaaaaaaaaa!

    15) Fon really isn't in the business of selling wifi anyway. They sell routers, and they build their email list.

    16) I'd like to say i'm sure that Fon is looking into this because of our requests, but it comes after 3 years, and during a complete slump in publicity for Fon. Fon really wanted to be mentioned alongside Meraki in articles about the solar Minis.

    Re 2009:

    1) I don't need a wifi router with an electric toothbrush and bidet attachment. What kind of idiot sees a profitable convergence of a device that sells wifi to your neighbors, with a makeshift media server? Who buys this? Who wants this set of features? Since La Fonera is unsuitable to be the foundation of a substantial home LAN, it should just be stripped down to the basic elements of a specialized AP.

    2) Fon should just make an outdoor-izing KIT for Foneras, like I have been advocating.

    3) If Fon can find an electronics manufacturer who is trying to unload a bunch of Linux-based 802.11n routers, then maybe. We'll see this before we ever see a Wimax-Fon router which -provides- Wimax as Martin naively suggests.

    4) Fire Iurgi and beg Brainslayer to come back!

    5) Fon could probably fail at failing. LOL

  2. I agree with you on the idea to make a kit to "outdoorize" foneras. it's simple, cheap, and effective and in Fon's case requires less Research and Development

    I didnt realize that whole deal with Joikuspot. I've been busy over the past year.

    Your right about La Fonera 2.0. For the average user, they would only need to connect a hard drive/flash drive, printer, or maybe a webcam and that's about it.

  3. The average user has a PC to connect these things to. LF2 does not innovate these resources or make them more useful.

    LF2 is tethered by two Ethernet cables, a power cord, and a case design that only works well on a desktop or shelf. There's nothing wrong with having an USB connector to attach instruments or webcams onto, but this should be in a weatherized model suitable for security and weather observation.

    The USB should have a virtualization driver so that it is universal and not dependant on buying the appropriate flakey plugin from the FonStore.

  4. I'm very surprised to see FON still alive, even their dear CEO Martin posts less and less about FON in the blogs, when he posts is almost all ridiculous stuff like the solar outdoor prototype just to be on the news. They FAIL in every aspect, the worse for me was the FON ZON business, without any warning we start to be used by ZON for their business as one extra service, something like "you buy our product X and we give you free access to the web in anyone ZON/FON hotspot". Another screw up was the public SSID change, FON_ZON_FREE_INTERNET wtf, crazy change that only sock puppets like, please view , I'm only reading rss feeds related to FON right now because I'm wondering what will be the next or even last screw up.

    Best regards to all

  5. HI there,

    regarding last years post about hacking fonera I could use a little help:

    I have followed you tutorial but got stuck at the first part and now I have two Fonera's dead! I have checked and rechecked after the first one and got the same result on the 2nd fonera. I got stuck on: "Unplug the Fonera from the power. Open up a command prompt in Windows (Start->Run->”cmd”), and type the following line:
    ping -t
    Plug the Fonera back into the power. Whenever you start to see “Reply from…”, you can move on to the following step."

    It does not come up from the reboot - wan light missing. Tried hard reset but no luck.

    Do you have any suggestions that could help me?


  6. if you have any suggestions regarding the 2 dead fonera's please e-mail me at