SCOTLAND'S capital is to join the growing ranks of cities offering free wi-fi to people surfing the internet on their mobile phones and tablet devices.

Edinburgh City council has been asked to approve the award of a 10-year contract, which would see free-to-use internet available across the city from wi-fi provider GOWEX by this summer's festival season.

Councillors on the Resources Committee will be asked to approve the plan next week, setting the capital up to join the likes of New York, San Francisco, Barcelona, and Paris in providing free wi-fi.

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Other Scottish cities have already begun to install their own open-air internet service, with Aberdeen city centre already covered by a free wi-fi signal.

Glasgow is to bring in services in time for the Commonwealth Games this year, with both the city centre and venues in the East End of the city covered.

Councillor Frank Ross, Economy Convener, said: "This is a fantastic result for Edinburgh, it's a great service for city residents, adds clout to the visitor experience and pays its own way. As a Council we're proud of the international companies that want to work with us to bring the best to the city."

Jenaro Garcia, CEO at GOWEX, said: "We intend to make Edinburgh a showcase Wireless Smart City in the UK, a strategic market for GOWEX. We're looking forward to forging strong and lasting partnerships in the coming years and bringing the benefits of our Wireless Smart Cities experience in over 84 major cities worldwide to the city of Edinburgh."