Oct 11 2013

Cisco and Facebook Partner to Offer Free Wi-Fi for Check-Ins at Businesses

Would you like a little free wireless Internet with your social media?

While mobile broadband is faster than ever thanks to 4G LTE speeds, it’s always nice to save bandwidth by logging onto Wi-Fi whenever possible. Especially since unlimited data plans have gone the way of the Dodo bird with some carriers.

Hotel or coffee shop Wi-Fi isn’t known for being fast, or free, but Facebook and Cisco Systems have teamed up to turn check-ins at participating hotels, retailers and other businesses into a “Get on the Network for Free” card for customers, according to a report from The Verge.

The program is called CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi and for the end-user, it provides a more simplified, user-friendly experience to signing on to a Wi-Fi network, Facebook’s Head of Mobile Erick Tseng told The Verge. Participating businesses will benefit from having access to the demographic and user information of the Facebook users that log on using CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi.

It’s a wireless access for data analytics exchange. And since users are likely already logging onto the Wi-Fi network to check their Facebook anyway, it’s an integration that seems relatively frictionless.

Once the customer attempts to log on to the Wi-Fi network, they’ll be forwarded to Facebook, where they can check in to the business on the social network. After completing the check-in, the customer is then forwarded to the business’ Facebook page, where they have the opportunity to Like the page and engage with other customers.

“Our vision is that every business in the world who have people coming in and visiting should have Facebook Wi-Fi,” says Tseng.

CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi is part of Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experience (CMX) solution. While at Interop NY 2013, Jagdish Girimaji, senior manager of product marketing in Cisco's Wireless Networking Group, explained more of the benefits and features of this guest-access solution for businesses in an episode of TechWiseTV.

“If you want a very minimal overhead guest-access solution and collect the social analytics, [it's a] very powerful story,” he says.

Watch the video below to learn more about how CMX for Facebook Wi-Fi works for business owners.