Feeds

Fon community embraces GSM

Hotspot network just waiting for an operator to call

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Hotspot sharing community Fon has signed a deal with Ubiquisys to put GSM cells into Fon hotspots, just as soon as they can get a network operator to let them.

Fon users are already able to get internet connectivity via each other's hotspots, but the new agreement between Fon and Ubiquisys is intended to allow members of the community to share bandwidth for mobile telephony too, as long as the companies can get a network operator or two signed up.

The Fon service provides a Wi-Fi router that can be configured to share the available bandwidth with other Fon users, and in exchange the owner is allowed to use bandwidth offered by other members of the community. That got a whole lot more useful when BT Openzone joined, but the deal also allows BT to claim 120,000 hotspots across the UK and Ireland, even if most of them are hidden in suburban back rooms.

Ubiquisys knows a lot about femtocells (tiny GSM base stations) and certainly has the technical knowledge to build one into Fon's routers. This would enable members of the community to make phone calls over each other's broadband connections, but the deal needs network operators to sign up, and offer some incentive to use the service.

The only femtocell currently available in the UK is from Vodafone, which offers nothing in the way of incentive besides increased coverage. Calls and data routed over one's own broadband connection are also billed for by Vodafone at the usual rate, effectively making the punter pay twice. But that model's likely to change as femtocells get more ubiquitous and cheaper, and some competition enters the market.

If Fon can sign up an operator or two, and provide discounts on calls routed through the Fon community, then this could significantly increase network coverage. But without a network operator neither Fon nor Ubiquisys can deploy anything: the network operators own the frequencies, and they say what's allowed in their space. ®

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
This flashlight app requires: Your contacts list, identity, access to your camera...
Who us, dodgy? Vast majority of mobile apps fail privacy test
Apple Watch will CONQUER smartwatch world – analysts
After Applelocalypse, other wristputers will get stuck in
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.