Hedges styled as famous Glastonbury landmarks will help power the UK’s biggest ever temporary 4G network
EE is using topiary structures to power part of its temporary 4G network at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.
The hedges have been styled to look like three of the most iconic landmarks at Worthy Farm, including the Park Tower, Arcadia Spider and, of course, the famous Pyramid Stage.
This is not the first time EE has used unorthodox structures as hotspots. Access points have previously been built into fibreglass cows, in reference to the site’s usual function as a dairy farm.
BT-owned EE (and before that Orange) has been an official partner of the festival for the past few years, building networks that can cope with the additional 135,000 people that descend upon rural Somerset each year Glastonbury is held.
Festival-goers will be able to access 4G-powered Wi-Fi between the hours of 10am and 10pm from Thursday to Sunday.
This year’s event will be covered by the biggest and most powerful temporary 4G network ever constructed in the UK, with six masts and 35MHz of additional 2.6GHz spectrum deployed in a bid to cope with the anticipated 15TB of data to be transmitted during the course of the festival.
This represents a 20-fold increase since 2011 and is more data than the nearby city of Bristol will generate over the same weekend. Planning for the network started nine months ago and mast construction started four weeks ago.
“We are already tripling the capacity of our 4G network on site to keep up with the ever-increasing demand for data we see at big events, and the addition of these selfie-friendly hotspots, showcasing our latest 4G Wi-Fi technology, will give everyone on site a chance to share their pictures and videos seamlessly.”
EE has also co-developed the official Glastonbury application and will offer a phone charging service.
Temporary networks are essential for major events that result in strain on local networks, meaning that visitors and residents of the area suffer a noticeable decrease in service quality.