18 thoughts on “BT to Invest in FON?”

  1. Unlike most incumbents BT doesn’t have a mobile subsidiary: BT Cellnet was sold a few years ago (2001?)

    With no cellphone business to cannibalize, BT’s free to partner with FON, push dual use phones (the “bluephone” etc) and seems excited about WiMAX.

  2. It seems that you have been given Fon shares, Om, by putting out rumors, promoting them by giving away routers…maybe you can clarify why you are so interested in this startup.

    The BT deal is actually contrary to your speculations, Fon is going to pay BT so that its users can get connected, kind of a roaming agreement. Do you really think BT would risk putting an unproven and buggy (check the Fon forums) firmware on their own routers? Why would BT invest in Fon anyway, what do they have to gain?

    Nothing to see here, please move along….

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  4. “T-Mobile USA is trying something similar up in the U.S. Northwest, though it is through a customer’s own Wi-Fi network.”

    In Washington State only, five months into the trial, which is strange. It’s still not ready for prime time, one might conclude.

    And all T-Mobile hotspots are included in the Wi-Fi roaming deal. I tested the service and the dual-mode phone automatically recognizes and connects to T-Mobile service in Starbucks, etc.

    As for “Jack Pendelton”: Just because Om is bullish on a service doesn’t imply that he has shares in the company. I think ethical slurs should be restricted to actual knowledge.

  5. Dear Jack Pendelton,

    To set the record straight, you clearly don’t know what you are talking about.

    1. Giving away routers – the readers benefitted from it, that’s why we gave them away.
    2. This is a story which clearly neither BT or FON wants to be out, which proves you wrong.
    3. I don’t own shared in FON or in fact any other company except my own. Never have and never will. It is as simple as that.
    4. Lastly, before you make disparaging remarks, how about taking a deep breath.
    5. You are entitled to your opinions, but hopefully this will give you something to think about.
  6. I still don’t quite buy this dual mode WiFi/GSM deal. The problem is that here in Europe (well, UK at least) the access point providers want you to pay for WiFi (e.g. BT Openzone £11/mth for only 4hrs access) – in the USA my experience was that free WiFi is more common. Again, here, no federation across providers.

    The thing that I do think has opportunity is the femtocell idea that got a little blogtime last month around the Barcelona GSM fest. Now that starts to make sense, certainly in the UK, where ‘quad’ play is starting to gain mindshare. Consider: from one supplier customer gets a) LLU or cable DSL, b) an Oyster femtocell to backhaul voice from 3G/GSM phone via IP over the DSL into their network & c) TV via cable or sat. Actually, that idea downsizes a quad play into a triple because voice is converged onto 3G/GSM. They’ve just gotta get the price right – at tops the call minutes via the femtocell have to be half the price of the regular cell calls on top of the core bundle cost.

    I’m skeptical about WiFi+cell for the same reason I don’t quite get VoIP for the average Joe: the cost. VoIP only adds up if you make unbilled calls, i.e. on same or peered SIP nets, or burn many international minutes.

    BTW, my only financial interest in any of this is that I’m a Fonero but I’m under no illusions about Fon becoming the candu WiFi.

  7. im amazed at the new skype enabled phonesthat allow wifi access and skype calling.They cost as much as a pda.

  8. the jewish community in murcia was among the first to fon.We sent our idle adsl to the street in pl santo domingo in haagen daz where we meet for coffee.
    we take our own signal when we are outside as well ANYBODY can suck it when we close.
    welcome to murcia

    btw fon has bigtim competition as murcia is a hotzone itself with over 30 zones almost everywhere free.
    how will fon compete?

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