Facebook(s fb) and Cisco Systems(s csco) might seem like strange bedfellows, but on Wednesday they revealed a partnership that could turn the world’s biggest social network into the gateway for Wi-Fi access at business establishments across the country.
Consumers are increasingly expecting Wi-Fi to be free when they visit restaurants, malls, hotels and tourist attractions. Increasingly those businesses are obliging, but they want something in return, said Chris Spain, a VP in Cisco’s enterprise networking group. Cisco and Facebook are prepared to deliver that quid pro quo in the form of detailed analytics about their customers.
Called Facebook Wi-Fi Service, the setup lets a business to do away with password-protected networks and registration screens, substituting a customer’s Facebook credentials for a login. Just as you can Facebook to register and log into many apps and websites, you can the same credentials to get online over the MGM Grand’s Wi-Fi…
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