Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at Fon?
I’m Todd Mersch, Executive Vice-President of Sales & Marketing at Fon. I came into the company through an acquisition – I was one of the founders of XCellAir, and when Fon acquired us earlier this year, I became a part of the team.
Fon has two business areas that we’re focused on – the first is as a Wi-Fi service provider, with 23 million hotspots worldwide in partnership with some of the largest operators around the globe. The second part, which is what I’m primarily focused on, is Fontech. We came to the realization that we had an amazing set of software solutions that we could productize and enable operators to deploy their own community Wi-Fi networks, as well as deliver solutions in the business/enterprise side of things.
What are some of the challenges that Fon has faced with its in-home Wi-Fi offering, and how does the company approach these challenges?
We’ve been anticipating this market since before people had been talking about in-home Wi-Fi being a challenge. You could almost say that it was something of a ‘dirty secret’ in the operator community, in the sense that companies would provide people with in-home Wi-Fi and access points without fully understanding any potential issues. So you might say that one of the challenges was identifying the challenges that could arise, and putting solutions in place to solve them. However, in the interim, a number of start-up companies emerged on the retail side of things and really saturated the marketplace with their own solutions for delivering better coverage, aiding with set-up, etc. Because of this, operators faced an existential threat from third parties taking the Wi-Fi away. This is a problem because this can potentially lead to operators losing the connection to the customer, which could negatively affect future sales. At Fon, we believe we have the best solution in the marketplace, and we cover all of the different requirements for operators. I think we’re unique in that we can enable operators to offer a rich and feature-capable experience.
Fon has been a member of the WBA for several years, and an active participant and sponsor at our events. What are you looking forward to the most about this week’s Wireless Global Congress in London?
The thing I like the most about events like this is the clear focus. You can go to larger events that are focused on broader topics, but that can create a dilution in the quality and richness of the content on display. I’ve always enjoyed the WBA’s events because while they may have a narrower focus in terms of content, it’s ultimately a deeper experience because you can meet with people who are oriented with solutions that you’re trying to bring to the table. It offers a forum for attendees to openly discuss challenges and what you see happening in the future, and that’s something that I like being a part of.
Be sure to catch Todd’s presentation – Delivering Reliable, High-Performance WiFi for Home and Homespots – as part of WGC London’s Carrier Wi-Fi Conference Track on the afternoon of Wednesday, 31 October. Click here to see the full conference agenda.