Here's an interesting press release from FON, the company behind the FON hotspots that help you share your Wi-Fi Internet connection at home in exchange for free access around the world when you encounter another FON hotspot. In their quest to increase the number of FON hotspots, they have in the past already partnered with DSL providers in France and the UK to include their software in their home gateways. Now, FON has made an additional partnership with 3G femtocell maker Ubiquysis.
With this deal, future femtocells from Ubiquisys can also include the FON software so a home gateway can be used to enhance 3G coverage, to provide private Wi-Fi connectivity at home or in an office and can broadcast a public Wi-Fi signal. I think this setup might also make a lot of sense in hotels, airports and shopping areas and other places with lots of people who could benefit from better 3G coverage or Wi-Fi.
Now FON and Ubiquysis probably have to find out how to sell the concept to a fixed line / wireless network operator. I imagine that the incentive to include the FON software for a mobile network operator is similar as for the fixed line / wireless operators in France and UK. I'd say it is likely that they are splitting the revenue.
An interesting proposition that rises and falls with the popularity of Femtos. A winning cooperation? What do you think?