Fon, the WiFi network company backed by Google and Skype, says you can find 3.35 million Fon hotspots all across the globe these days. That’s impressive growth, which comes down to more to 200 percent year-over-year. Last time Fon shared numbers, the company revealed that it tracked 2.5 million hotspots (this was in October 2010).
Clearly, growth is accelerating for the company, in large part thanks to distribution partnerships it has struck with telecommunication companies all over the world.
Fon also reveals that they’ve ended 2010 with revenues of €28 million, up from €5 million the year before, growth it attributes to the surge in use of WiFi devices worldwide.
The company essentially lets users connect to WiFi networks via Fon hotspots anywhere in the world, free of charge, in exchange for sharing a bit of Fon WiFi at their homes.
The Spanish company produces 802.11n ‘Fonera’ WiFi routers that, when connected to ADSL/broadband networks, make it possible to safely broadcast two dedicated WiFi signals, one of them encrypted and private.
The other WiFi signal is public and accessible to registered members of the Fon community by password.
Says Fon founder and chief executive Martin Varsavsky:
“Fon now has well over three million hotspots; that’s triple our size just one year ago, and about six times larger than the Boingo, iPass and T-Mobile WiFi networks all combined.
As many more people purchase tablets and smartphones in the coming year, and as operators choose Fon WiFi to offload the fifty-fold increase in data traffic these users are expected to generate by 2015, we expect our community to continue to grow with no end in site.”
I presume he meant to say ‘no end in sight’, but I digress.
Telco partners of Fon include BT, MTS (Comstar-UTS) Russia, SFR France, SoftBank Japan and ZON Portugal. British Telecom is not only a partner but also an investor, as are the Coral Group, Google, Index Ventures, Sequoia Capital and Skype.