The MWEB-Fon deal gives MWEB ADSL customers with a Fon-enabled router the opportunity to join a global community of 12-million WiFi users who act as a hotspot, and a growing local community who share their connections with each other.
Fon, the global WiFi network, founded in 2006 in Spain but now represented on four continents, is made up of Fon community members, who share a part of their bandwidth as a separate WiFi signal.
In return, Fon members are able to securely access any other Fon WiFi hotspot both locally and globally.
“We have been looking for a way to broaden our customers’ access to WiFi beyond their home or office network without compromising the quality of internet access that they’ve become accustomed to,” said MWEB ISP CEO Derek Hershaw.
“The new Fon relationship will complement our existing WiFi zones and will give our customers access to cost effective, quality mobile Internet access and a growing network.”
Alex Puregger, COO at Fon, said that they are delighted to work with MWEB because of its track record, credibility, footprint and loyal customer base as it already has a large base of more than 320,000 customers which could potentially all become Fon members.
Puregger added that since its launch in Europe in 2006, Fon’s business model has been based on ‘give a little, get a lot’.
“Eventually we will have created a crowd sourced WiFi network where everyone who contributes, connects for free. We are thinking of it as global Uncapped WiFi,” he said.
Using their ADSL login details, MWEB customers with a Fon-enabled router, can immediately access the rapidly growing network of WiFi hotspots, which currently includes MWEB WiFi Zones and Always On hotspots.
Hershaw said that that they are aiming to reach 30,000 MWEB-Fon hotspots across the country by the end of 2014.
“As broadband costs decrease and more users and sites come online, MWEB will take South Africa into an unlimited mobile Internet future,” said Hershaw.
“We want to fundamentally change what people expect from mobile connectivity. In MWEB’s vision of the future, our users will never have to adjust how they consume the Internet just because they aren’t at home or in the office,” he added.
To promote the initiative, MWEB is offering all existing and new MWEB ADSL customers a free Fon upgrade, including a Fon-enabled WiFi router and WiFi range extender.
MWEB Fon FAQ
How is Fon available on the MWEB network?
MWEB will be providing eligible ADSL Customers with a free Fon -enabled ADSL / VDSL router which will activate the Fon service. The MWEB Fon – enabled router will use existing connections and send out a public and private wireless signal. It is the public signal that makes your broadband connection a Fon Spot. The private signal is for you, your family, and friends that live in your residence since it is encrypted and secure.
Can I join Fon without having the Fon enabled router?
No. In order for you to join the Fon community and enjoy access to the Global Fon Community, you would need to share some of your unused broadband connection. The MWEB Fon- enabled router has special software which enables the Fon Service.
What will happen to my connection if I opt in to the Fon Service?
Your home connection will not be affected by the Fon Service as all your home traffic will always be prioritised. The public hotspot that is created will only utilise the unused capacity on your connection. This means that your ADSL connection speed and reliability will not be affected by Fon.
Will a roaming Fon user consume my data and potentially cause me to be throttled by MWEB?
No. The public Fon hotspot you create from your broadband connection is operated as a completely separate WiFi channel. This means that the roaming user of your hotspot will not have the ability to affect your residential connection.
Will my WiFi signal be affected in the home?
No. Your private WiFi signal is separate to the Public Fon WiFi signal and will therefore not impact your in-home WiFi experience. The MWEB Fon – enabled router is able to manage both signals as separate WiFi networks, which runs independently and securely together.