Deutsche Telekom is reportedly considering buying a stake in Wi-Fi operator Fon as it looks at ways to reduce pressure on its mobile networks, reports the Wall Street Journal.
The increased use of smartphones and tablets, as well as cloud-based technology, has seen data traffic on mobile networks soar. Sources said Deutsche Telekom is looking at Fon to give it an option to offload some of this data traffic from its mobile networks.
Fon founder Martin Varsavsky has signed a letter of intent with the operator, the sources said, although the size and value of the stake is unclear.
Fon uses wireless routers owned by individuals to provide 7 million wireless hotspots around the world. People that agree to share their routers can then use other Fon hotspots free of charge.
Its network of hotspots is particularly dense in Belgium and the UK with participants also present in the Netherlands, France, Portugal and Japan.
Dutch operator group KPN partnered with Fon last week to allow its home broadband customers to take advantage of the shared Wi-Fi hotspots.