Facebook and Cisco partner to offer free Wi-Fi at stores
Users 'check in' to store's Facebook page to gain free wireless access
Computerworld - Cisco and Facebook have become unusual friends in a new collaboration that offers free Wi-Fi to consumers who "check in" to a participating business via a Facebook account.
The service, called Cisco Connected Mobile Experience with Facebook Wi-Fi, promises to give consumers quick access to Wi-Fi at airports, hotels and corner stores, according to officials and a Cisco blog posted Wednesday.
Instead of going through a sometimes painful process of finding and typing in a password for a Wi-Fi hotspot, a user with a smartphone, tablet or laptop could connect to a business's Wi-Fi router and get directed to the business's Facebook page. The user clicks a blue button and receives free Wi-Fi access, Cisco and Facebook officials explained in an interview Thursday. Facebook has also posted an FAQ to help users and businesses with the process.
For Cisco, the world's largest Wi-Fi equipment maker, the collaboration will expand Cisco's potential to sell businesses a network appliance called the Mobility Services Engine. Facebook, meanwhile, gains a huge boost in its ongoing attempts to bring local ads to the social network's more than 800 million monthly mobile users.
Businesses that set up the service, meanwhile, get access to anonymous, aggregated information on visitors to a store, such as age, gender and location. A mall, hotel, airport or store can also follow where the most users gather, for how long, and at what time of day to better offer them new products, coupons or promotions.
"It might look like an unusual marriage, but we've got the best of social networking and business intelligence combined," said Chris Spain, vice president of product management at Cisco.
Asked if Facebook is in a race against Google to reach more local businesses for ad opportunities, Facebook's Erick Tseng, head of mobile products and strategy, downplayed the competitive angle. "We're really excited about the local marketing opportunity with Facebook Wi-Fi, but have nothing immediate to announce about how it ties to advertising," Tseng said. "I don't know about any race [with Google], but we want to see as many businesses as makes sense that want Facebook Wi-Fi. We decided there's no better way than getting to the top with Cisco."
Partnering with Cisco, the world's largest networking provider, gives Facebook access to large businesses that may have thousands of local retail outlets and likely already run Cisco networking gear in their network operations. "We have the best partner out there, from the enterprise angle, and the world's biggest brains in the business," Tseng said.
- Facebook launches redesign with a bit of the old, a bit of the new
- Facebook eyes solar-powered drone company
- Facebook coughs up $19B for WhatsApp's younger users
- Facebook buying WhatsApp for $16 billion
- Facebook's birthday present: A look back at your social life
- At 10, Facebook strives not to be your granny's social network
- Facebook sees apps in its future ... lots of apps
- Facebook hijacks Trending feature from rival Twitter
- Facebook to kill off one kind of ad some users hated
- Facebook uses a seasoned Chef to keep servers simmering
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Next Wave in Wireless Emerging 802.11ac standard promises a significant boost in performance to support ubiquitous mobility.
- Case Study: Murphy USA Gains Application Visibility Without Agents Murphy USA has more than 700 stores that share a 10Mbps VSAT link. So when something goes wrong with their applications, it's the...
- 25 Business Phone Service Features Your Business Can't Do Without How many features does your business really need in a phone system? Which are worth paying for, and which are over-hyped? Learn how...
- The Great Video Conferencing Debate: Cost Vs. Quality With new video conferencing solutions available for small and medium businesses, it is possible to have a higher standard of video conferencing without...
On-Demand Webcast: 7 Reasons to Choose VoIP
Thinking about a new phone system for your business?
Be sure to watch this informative webcast. Steve Strauss, small business columnist for USA...
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have. All Wireless Networking White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more