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Tesco is first supermarket to offer free Wi-Fi

Tesco could become the first supermarket to offer free Wi-Fi access to its customers.

The grocery giant - which already takes one pound in every seven spent by UK shoppers - will be offering gadget owners the opportunity to catch up on emails while they are waiting for the indolent teenager at the till to pull his finger out.

Tesco says it is making the move to allow users to read product reviews and compare prices while they shop.

The company is currently piloting the new service in four of its larger stores and says it could be rolled out nationally if the test is a success.

Most stores already have Wi-Fi infrastructure in place which is used for the store's day-to-day operations, so it's only a matter of opening up existing signals for public use.

The whole thing is expected to be tied up with the supermarket's Club Card loyalty scheme which could well be the first ever good reason for signing up for the spy-in-your-pocket monitoring exercise.

Putting free Wi-Fi into all of Tesco's 2,700 will give a significant boost to the availability public hotspots, which are mainly operated by McDonalds burger joints and overpriced coffee shops like Starbucks.

As our local superstore sells garden furniture, you can expect to see us sitting in a deck chair tapping away at our laptops the next time our office Wi-Fi goes down.