The crowdsourced Wi-Fi network Fon is about to find its way into a whole lot more routers, as Qualcomm(s qcom) and others have plowed $14 million into the Spanish company. Qualcomm will bake Fon functionality into its Atheros wireless chipsets. What’s more, there’s a “social music” Fon router on the way, and the firm has struck a partnership with Facebook (s fb) to help users share their data connections with their friends.
Fon lets users share each others’ connections, and has spent recent years building up a series of partnerships with carriers, many of whom see value in helping users more easily offload cellular data to fixed-line connections. Its most recent signing was South Africa’s MWEB. Fon reckons it has major coverage in 1,000 cities — it has 12 million hotspots and grew 50 percent last year — and is currently making inroads into the U.S. market.
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