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Fon partners with Deutsche Telekom to 'blanket' Germany with Wi-Fi

The two companies have entered an agreement to build Germany's largest Wi-Fi network, as the cellular giant aims to ease its mobile networks.
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Written by Zack Whittaker, Writer-editor on

German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom has partnered with crowdsourced Wi-Fi network Fon to bring Germany the largest Wi-Fi network it has seen to date.

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(Credit: CNET)

The plans, announced today, will help Deutsche Telekom expand its mobile data offering by allowing its customers free access to more than 12,000 existing Fon hotspots across Germany and seven million hotspots in more than 100 countries.

While financials were not disclosed, it will ultimately help Deutsche Telekom gain additional investment to plugging its own future, bolstered networks. Over the next three years, the company will invest almost €30 billion ($39bn) in next-generation fiber broadband and LTE networks in both Germany and its other markets, such as the U.S.

Fon allows home and business broadband owners to 'share' their wireless networks securely with others, allowing external users to access a portion of their Wi-Fi waves for a fee.

Created under the not-so-catchy "WLAN TO GO" name, Fon already holds the title of the world's largest Wi-Fi network but aims to bring its offering to a wider German audience, a booming sector for profit growth. 

By 2016, Deutsche Telekom wants to offer more than 2.5 million additional hotspots, said outgoing Deutsche Telekom chief executive Rene Obermann, who is leaving the company by the end of this year. It comes at a tumultous time for the company as Philipp Humm, the chief executive of Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile USA stepped down in June last year only to join rival European cellular network Vodafone.

According to MarketWatch, the company also wants to expand its mobile Internet offering to the railways, by covering 5,200 kilometers of track by the end of 2014.

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