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Based: Madrid, Spain
Founded: 2005


Why is it Fierce? This Spanish company is either a throwback to the 1960s or a harbinger of things to come. Either way, it has an intriguing business model which should be carefully watched to see whether it succeeds of fails. FON has a straightforward proposition: Subscribers to FON (or, as the company prefers, those who join the “FON movement”) allow other people to use their Intenrnet connection. In exchange, they get free access to WiFi networks of other “Foneros” (but only if they want to: Those who do not want to offer access to other people pay $2 a day for the service).

What to look for: The number of ISPs willing to go along with FON's from-the-bottom-up approach. Large ISPs would probably decline and block access to their networks to Foneros, but smaller ISPs may well decide that cooperation may bring them income which otherwise they would not see.


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