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EE 4G Smart Tent Brings Smart Home Tech To Glastonbury

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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EE is making ‘glamping’ smarter as it continues 4G partnership with Glastonbury

EE is bringing smart home technology to the 2017 Glastonbury Festival with a ‘smart tent’ that appears to be the natural conclusion of the ‘glamping’ phenomenon.

Music festivals are often associated with unbearably hot tents, poor bathroom facilities and, above all, mud. But a recent trend has seen more people opt for more luxurious accommodations as events attract a more middle class audience unaccustomed to slumming it.

EE’s Smart Tent aims to rectify the biggest problems people have with festival camping: a steady supply of drink, a comfortable bed and superfast broadband access.

4GEE Smart Tent at Glastonbury (5)

EE Glastonbury tent

A smart fridge in the tent tweets when it runs out of water or booze and has an inbuilt entertainment centre relaying the BBC’s comprehensive coverage of the festival alongside custom virtual reality (VR) content.

A smart security camera can send footage to a smartphone application so the occupant can check in their belongings and the unit is solar powered. It even has a wellington boot warmer.

Unsurprisingly, the tent acts as a Wi-Fi hotspot, offering connectivity between 10am and 10pm, and EE is offering people the chance to win a stay in the tent for one night as part of a Twitter competition.

“While camping is a massive part of any music festival, it’s not always the most comfortable experience, so we wanted to create a 4GEE Smart Tent that tested the latest tech-inspired comforts,” said Mat Sears, director of communication and sponsorship at EE.

The operator has been the official technology and communications partner for the event for the past five years and in 2016 constructed the UK’s biggest and most powerful temporary 4G network. This involved temporary base stations and additional 2.6GHz high capacity spectrum.

For 2017 it is doing the same, but even bigger. For the first time, a permanent mast will be erected, offering coverage not only to the 175,000 temporary visitors but also to the long-suffering residents of Glastonbury as EE seeks to achieve 92 percent geographical coverage by the end of the year and 95 percent by 2020.

“The on-site 4G network we’re providing to Glastonbury revellers this year is the most powerful we’ve ever put in, and will help create the ultimate connected camping experience,” added Sears.

“We’re looking forward to selecting the one lucky Glastonbury-goer who’ll get to stay in the tent and enjoy it in all its high-tech glory.”

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