Fon, ER Telecom in World Cup WiFi deal

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Fon has brokered a deal with ER Telecom that will see the pair provide WiFi access to the half a billion football fans due to descend on Russia in the coming weeks for the World Cup.

The Spanish community WiFi specialist said it will provide partners and customers with WiFi access in 10,000 locations in Russia. Those locations cover 32 cities, including Moscow and St Petersburg, and eight of the 11 host cities where matches will be played.

It is working with Russian cable TV and broadband provider ER Telecom to provide the service, with access facilitated via a new Fon WiFi app, as well as via SDKs integrated into apps provided by partners, including Virgin Mobile Mexico and Spanish loyalty programme Travel Club.

Fon notes that its service will help visitors avoid mobile roaming charges and potentially unsecure public WiFi services while they are in Russia. Users of the Fon app will be connected automatically to an available WiFi network when they are in range of an ER Telecom network access point, it said.

"Connectivity has become an essential need in our daily lives and it reaches its peak in events of this kind which generate a huge volume of data from millions of devices," said Fon chief executive Alex Puregger.

"The ability to rely on quality WiFi that meets the expectations of attendees will be a decisive factor in how they rate their overall user experience," he added.