Smartphones are a festival must-have, how else are you able to upload that tinny video to Instagram or document the acts performing for everyone on social to see? Sometimes, however, when stood in the middle of a muddy field with 175,000 others who are trying to do the same, there just isn’t the network coverage. Luckily for the attendees of Glastonbury 2019, EE just might have the answer – and that’s 5G.
EE is no stranger to Glastonbury festival – this will be the sixth year that the mobile operator has been the festival’s official technology partner – this year, however, it is building a 5G network which will give attendees the chance to be among the first to experience next-generation network technology.
The mobile operator will erect five temporary masts across the Worthy Farm site to complement the permanent 4G sites it built for the festival in 2017. These sites will enable festival-goers and residents in the Somerset village to connect to 2G, 3G, 4G and, for the first time, 5G networks.
EE, alongside a number of other telecoms firms, is currently testing the technology across different parts of the UK. It is unlikely, however, that the service (anticipated to be rolled out later in 2019) will be available to consumers in time for the festival – which starts on June 28 – giving enviable opportunities to see the next-generation network in action.
EE is predicting data consumption to increase yet again to more than 70TB across the weekend, with Instagram posts and videos likely to cause a surge in demand. But most will benefit from the additional 4G coverage as opposed to 5G.
As well as the 5G trial, EE has confirmed it will again have its Recharge Tent in place, offering free charging to all festival attendees.
The mobile operator will sell Juice Tube Power Bars for £20, which once out of battery can be swapped for free, once a day, for a fully charged one to allow mobile charging while on the site.
Pete Jeavons, EE and BT’s Marketing and Communications Director says, “Smartphones have become a festival must-have as we’ve seen each year with more and more data being consumed at Glastonbury Festival.
“As the long-standing technology partner to this iconic event, we are committed to building a network powerful enough to cope with this huge demand. With the introduction of 5G this year, we are able to trial this new technology at Worthy Farm and make history as the UK’s first 5G-connected festival.”
Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis adds, “We’re extremely pleased to have EE back again, providing the best possible network for our rural site. And, it’s great that we’re going to be one of the first places in the UK to offer 5G.”