Fon will provide partners and customers access to WiFi in over 10,000 locations thanks to an agreement with the operator ER Telecom during 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.
The WiFi service covers 32 cities, including Moscow, Saint Petersburg, and eight more of the 11 cities which will host the event. Access to WiFi networks will be provided by a new Fon WiFi app available globally, as well as through an SDK integrated in partners’ apps, such as those of Virgin Mobile Mexico and Travel Club. Users will be connected automatically to available WiFi networks when they are close to an ER Telecom network access point even if apps are closed.
The company has over a decade of experience connecting companies and end-users through WiFi networks, using innovative technology to integrate networks with maximum simplicity and security.
According to a Google report, the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil generated 300 million tweets in its first phase alone, as well as 2,000 million tournament-related searches.
Russia will experience the highest connectivity demand in its history due to the arrival of over 500,000 foreign tourists to 11 hosting cities. And most are expected to be eager to share information with family and friends in real time using their devices.
Bearing in mind Russia is not part of the EU, and therefore the 2017 regulation unifying European telecommunications networks does not apply. European SIM cards are unregulated in the country, and visitors will be required to use roaming. To avoid high costs, many fans might prefer to connect to WiFi networks.
“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,” says Alex Puregger, CEO, Fon.
Coverage should be available in main streets, parks and tourist attractions, as well as most of the airports and train stations. However, it is also important to note that there are differences across the country regarding WiFi access. While it will be relatively easy to access this service in big cities, in smaller, more remote ones, such as Kaliningrad, access to WiFi in hotels and small businesses may be more inaccessible or only available as a paid service.
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