On the heels of my previous post comes news that Fon is giving away routers to anyone again:
Fon is also emailing Foneros with a promotional code for a free La Fonera (including free shipping!) in the United States:
Special Offer Conditions
Special Offer for La Fonera for free (shipping cost and sales tax included)
This Special Offer is valid until 31-12-2006 date 24:00 hour and limited to 10.000 units and to users of FON that have received their Promotional Code and that are already registered as Foneros. This Offer is limited to one router per user and shipping address. You will not be eligible for this Offer if you have previously purchased a subsidised La Fonera at www.fon.com.
Once FON has confirmation that you have registered as a member of our Community, we will send you the La Fonera for free (shipping costs and sales tax are included). Once you have received your La Fonera, your will be required to install the La Fonera and maintain it activated within the FON Community. If for any reason you are not able to do so, we ask that you kindly pass the La Fonera onto a friend who wants to share WiFi as a Fonero.
FON will publish your location on the FON maps that highlight the FON Community s Access Points. Your personal data will be handled in accordance with the FON Privacy and Data Protection Policy that you will accept or have accepted when registering with FON. The FON Privacy and Data Protection Policy complies with US Data Protection Legislation.
On our website www.fon.com you can find all of the necessary information for installation and registration of your La Fonera
I think that’s “ten thousand” free routers which they have to hand out in this promotion, not “ten to three null decimal points”, heheh.
Well perhaps Fon is dabbling in targeted marketing a bit less than earlier observations suggested. Unless they cancel the package deals, they deserve to keep the credit for it. It appears that Fon leaders continue to have faith in the carpet-bombing approach to building a live network and achieving critical mass. This is amazingly generous and certainly generates considerable goodwill by placing such great trust in North Europeans and Americans, but continues to worry me.
I wonder if other router manufacturers have experienced a dip in sales this year due to Fon’s free wireless routers? Perhaps it hasn’t been too extreme due to 802.11n being the new rage. Slower wireless routers should continue to be more than sufficient for hotspot sharing for several more years, as long as broadband providers continue to delay increasing the bandwidth they supply in so many areas.