Friday, October 20, 2006

Foneros uber alles

Dubya seems to have gotten into a spot of bother with his Tet Offensive comment, but in EuroTelcoland there is an offensive of another kind taking place. Perhaps "offensive" is too strong a word for the Fonera Promise. Or perhaps it really depends on your point of view as an incumbent - is it a threat, or an opportunity? One of my apparently (and surprisingly) now near-legendary Ten Things list items was that investors may be concerned that incumbent footprint expansion has been physical rather than virtual, but maybe the message is getting through to some companies. In the Netherlands, Vincent Dekker at Trouw has an intriguing article on FON in the Dutch market. With 2,600 Dutch Foneros at present, FON's presence in the market is already greater than that of KPN, albeit I'm sure KPN has the high ground in terms of AP location (hotels, airports, etc) - at least for now. However, the really interesting part of the article is the statements from FON's Dutch country manager, who says that incumbents:

" not turn out to be the big adversaries that FON feared they would be... We are talking to several ISPs in The Netherlands. Now they can only give their subscribers internet access in The Netherlands, but with FON, their subscribers can go online all over the world."

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