Cisco buys Wi-Fi location analytics firm ThinkSmart

Cisco Systems has acquired Ireland's ThinkSmart technologies, a location analytics company that Cisco reportedly will leverage to bring greater intelligence about usage patterns, such as traffic trends, usage durations and peak-time fluctuations, to service provider and enterprise Wi-Fi networks.

ThinkSmart will become part of Cisco's Wireless Network Group upon the closing of the deal during Cisco fiscal first quarter of 2013. Cisco did not reveal financial terms of the deal.

Cisco said in a blog post that it wants to provide those Wi-Fi network owners with more information about users so that they can better engage with them. The move comes after Cisco forecasted last spring that as much as half of the world's Internet traffic could be occurring over Wi-Fi connections by 2016. Wi-Fi also increasingly is being viewed as a vessel for traffic offloaded from service provider mobile broadband networks.

In the case of mobile carriers, anything that gives them more information about what is really happening over the Wi-Fi networks they are offloading users to will be a great help. Their customers will not want to put up with degraded service quality, and to make better decisions about offloading and how to manage traffic between mobile and Wi-Fi networks, carriers will need as much information as they can get their hands on. Having the analytical bent as they rely more on Wi-Fi is one of the things that will help carriers become more comfortable making Wi-Fi a big part of the future mobile broadband network planning blueprints.

For more:
-see this eWeek post

Related articles:
Cisco predicted 50% of Internet traffic will be over Wi-Fi by 2016
Privacy remains a big issue in developing location-based services

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