Originally posted on Gigaom:
Updated. Fon may have launched in Madrid, but lately the company has taken on a very Japanese flavor. According to the company, which pioneered the concept of a global community Wi-Fi network, 1 million, or a full one-sixth, of its global access points now reside in Japan.
It owes a big part of its success there to operator partner Softbank Mobile, one of Japan’s largest carriers with 25 million subscribers. Softbank gives every customer who buys a smartphone or tablet a Wi-Fi router, which Fon calls a Fonera, and automatically configures all of its devices to access Fon’s network. Considering Softbank for years was the only carrier in Japan to sell the iPhone (s aapl), you can imagine how considerable that traffic is. Fon was originally launched to connect laptops, but today in Japan 80 percent of its traffic comes from either the iPhone or iPad.
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