Cape Town-based Frogfoot Networks is enlisting a wide community of people to help build a wireless broadband network using WiFi technology.
Frogfoot wanted to build a business model that would stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit in people; something that would spread through word of mouth; something fun and innovative that builds recurring monthly revenue – a viral business model, in fact.
The company hit upon the idea of letting individuals with Internet connections open that up to the people around them through the creation of wireless hotspots.
“Share with your neighbour, but make some money for your efforts,” is the way Frogfoot director Johann Botha describes it.
He points out that an ADSL line which currently serves one or two people could now give access to 10 or more – or even bloom into a WiFi hotspot to reach literally thousands.
And it seems the business model works, because Frogfoot has seen 100% month-on-month growth over the last six months.
“At Frogfoot we like to say: let the animals run the zoo," says Botha. "This captures our vision of empowering entrepreneurs to build networks. We set out to build a business model which we would have wanted to get involved in ourselves.”
Frogfoot recently launched its Hotspot Agent programme, where agency help to build a network of Wifi hotspots by introducing new operators.