An Example of a FON Base StationTo ensure reliability and security of a FON HotSpot I tought it would be a good idea to have some sort of controller behind the La Fonera WLAN router. This controller is a standard industrial embedded PC with two network cards running Linux which is responsible for routing, traffic shaping and accounting, environmental monitoring of the HotSpot location (like temperature) and intrusion detection. The whole system runns of a compact flash card and uses no fan so there are no moving parts and also no noise. Future additions will also include a webcam. Some of the functionality of the controller could be integrated into the La Fonera WLAN router which is also based on Linux but this would violate FON's usage agreements and would so be illegal.
All parts of this base station are screwed together to form a compact unit. Because of this, it's small form factor, and only the need for a power and CAT network cable the installation was realy easy. The preconfigured controller was just deployed and powered on. Additional configuration was done remotely. More base stations may follow.
This base station was a prototype and works now for about 6 months in a field test without any operator intervention and any technical or security problems.
These are some pictures of the finished base station (La Fonera and controller) before deployment. It was deployed under a roof with good visible conditions. The only problem meight be summer/winter temperatures (thus there is temperature logging included in the controller) but so far even -12 C and +40 C did not cause any troubles.