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There are places where finding free Wi-Fi seems less a minor trifle and more an epic quest, with your data bill hanging in the balance. A new partnership between internet service provider MWEB and Fon, the world’s largest Wi-Fi network could, however, make things easier for a lot of South Africans.
The deal means that MWEB ADSL customers, with a Fon–enabled router, can become part of the Fon network. What that means is that in return for sharing a portion of their bandwidth, they’ll be able to access any other Fon Wi-Fi hotspot both in their own country and around the globe.
Founded in Spain in 2006, Fon now has a presence on four continents and lays claim to community of around 12-million members.
Derek Hershaw, CEO of MWEB, “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. 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.”
Using their ADSL login details, MWEB customers with a Fon–enabled router, will apparently be able to access the network of Wi-Fi hotspots, with the ISP predicting that there will be more than 30 000 hotspots across the country are envisaged 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. 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,” Hershaw concluded.
Existing and new MWEB ADSL customers will reportedly be offered a free Fon upgrade, including a Fon–enabled Wi-Fi router and Wi-Fi range extender.