Global telecommunications provider Norwood Systems (ASX: NOR) has signed a potentially lucrative agreement with Fon, a global Wi-Fi network provider, with intentions to provide higher average speeds, improved security and reliability of connections compared to regular, public Wi-Fi access points.
Fon currently lays claim to the “world’s largest Wi-Fi community of over 21 million hotspots” and currently services the likes of AT&T, British Telecom, Boingo, KPN, Proximus, Travel Club, and Virgin Mobile as clients on a global basis.
Norwood has delivered services to more than 6 million customers since launching its platform in mid-2014 through its pioneering virtual mobile services platform, Corona.
Norwood also offers a variety of applications such as World Phone, World Message, World Secure and World Wi-Fi, with the common denominator being ubiquitous access to digital services with as little hardware and contractual ties as possible.
Onwards and outwards
Its World Wi-Fi application is now in-line for a significant upgrade after Norwood finalised a signed agreement with Fon, for the pair to provide premium Wi-Fi services within Norwood’s World Wi-Fi product.
Under the agreement, Fon will provide unlimited monthly access to its premium and carrier Wi-Fi networks around the world, by integrating these networks into Norwood’s World Wi-Fi platform.
According to Norwood, Fon’s global Wi-Fi footprint forms “a highly complementary access layer” to its existing service offering enabling public access to Wi-Fi for anyone with a mobile phone.
Another feature of the agreement is that Norwood will have access to Fon’s carrier residential networks, covering countries such as the United Kingdom, France and Japan.
Additionally, Norwood will have access to Fon’s premium networks in prime locations such as airports, hotels, convention centres, shopping malls, train stations and restaurant chains across the world, which would typically subject users to nominal fees on a per-megabyte basis.
Norwood says that “through a one-time integration” with Norwood’s World Wi-Fi app, both Android and iPhone users will be able to connect automatically to Fon’s Wi-Fi hotspots, “even when the app’s closed”, as well as remain seamlessly connected to Wi-Fi, as long as they are in range of a hotspot.
Provided with Fon’s “unique SDK technology”, Norwood intends to sell “premium” retail access to Wi-Fi, to be made available within its World Wi-Fi app, which will ultimately offer Norwood customers higher average speeds, improved security and reliability of connections compared to existing Wi-Fi access.
Worldwide Wi-Fi capability
The World Wi-Fi App allows users to find and securely access millions of Wi-Fi hotspots around the globe. The app is currently available for iPhone with an Android version “coming soon”.
One of its unique features that attracts users over and above other providers is what Norwood calls “augmented reality” (AR). Its AR interface provides an intuitive map giving users a clear understanding of the local Wi-Fi coverage that may be available.
The map service and AR interface are available offline thereby helping its travelling clientele to get online without incurring steep roaming charges.
As part of the full-spectrum service, Norwood claims to establish a secure, “VPN-protected” service automatically by harnessing its existing World Secure product.
“We want to go even further to help users connect to Wi-Fi wherever and whenever they need it. Our partnership with Norwood and the inclusion of our networks into their revolutionary World Wi-Fi App means that more people will be able to enjoy a great user experience wherever they connect around the world,” said Alessandro Lambertini, director of Network Access at Fon.
“We are delighted to be working with Fon as a strategic Wi-Fi access partner to help our World Wi-Fi users enjoy the benefits of secure, super-fast Wi-Fi access at millions of locations around the world. This new agreement will provide our users with affordably priced “all-you-can-eat” access to premium and carrier Fon networks around the world,” said Paul Ostergaard, CEO and founder of Norwood Systems.