Tesco to offer free BT Wi-Fi in more than 800 UK stores

Tesco storefront

Tesco customers in the UK and Republic of Ireland will soon be able to connect to fast BT Wi-Fi in their local stores for free, thanks to a deal struck between the supermarket giant and the telco.

Upon entering one of the participating stores, customers will be able to instantly connect to BT Wi-Fi by selecting Tesco Wi-Fi' or BT' on their device. The service will be free to use, and is being rolled out to 806 Tesco Extra and Superstores in the UK and 113 in the Republic of Ireland.

Tesco already offers in-store Wi-Fi to its customers, and was the first supermarket chain to do so, but the new partnership with BT will improve the service with bandwidth boosted to 76Mb.

Tomas Kadlec, group technology director at Tesco, said: "Customers now want the kind of experience in-store as they enjoy online, with fast and convenient access to product information, pricing and offers at the touch of their fingertips.

"We were the first supermarket in the UK to offer free Wi-Fi and the first to launch online shopping. We're now bringing these innovations together to put our customers in control with better service and value than ever before."

The service is being rolled out in the hope that customers will use it in conjunction with Tesco services such as to download Clubcard vouchers, product information, recipes and details of current in-store special offers.

According to research from BT and ICM in 2013, 44 per cent of people do actually use in-store Wi-Fi to browse items and compare prices, and 34 per cent use it to find discounts and money-off vouchers for their shopping.

"Connectivity is becoming an important part of the customer experience," adds Luis Alvarez, CEO of BT Global Services. "From retailing to banking, customers expect the same connectivity in high-street stores, cafes and bank branches as they get in their homes or workplaces.

"The BT Wi-Fi partnership with Tesco gives customers the connectivity they expect. It also creates a platform for Tesco to further bring the in-store and online shopping experience closer together for the benefit of its customers."

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

You can get in touch with Caroline via email at caroline.preece@futurenet.com.