Glastonbury 2016: EU Referendum Sees Music Fans Consume 25TB On EE 4G Network

glastonbury festival

Glastonbury attendees turn to smartphones to find out Brexit latest as traffic is 70 percent above EE 4G estimates

Visitors to this year’s Glastonbury Festival consumed 25TB of data on what EE claimed is the biggest and most powerful temporary 4G network ever constructed in the UK.

The operator deployed six masts at Worthy Farm and added 35MHz of additional 2.6GHz high capacity spectrum to provide connectivity to its customers and to power a free Wi-Fi network for the site.

EE had predicted 15TB would be transmitted during the course of the weekend, but actual use was 70 percent higher than this conservative estimate. In the end, overall data consumption was up 130 percent year-on-year.

EE Glastonbury data


The biggest spike was caused by the results of the EU referendum on the eve of the festival, with many turning to their smartphones to follow the news. The second largest was caused by headliners Coldplay who performed on the Sunday night.

“We have seen data usage vastly increase at all major events year after year and knew that Glastonbury would be no exception,” said EE’s Mat Sears. “This is undoubtedly the biggest event in the UK music calendar and festival-goers want to share every epic moment. 25 terabytes is an extraordinary amount of data for our network to carry over five days – that‘s a lot of selfies – but by tripling capacity of our 4G network this year we were more than prepared.”

EE Glastonbury 2016

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EE Glastonbury 2016 Hedges (1)

The BT-owned operator (and before that Orange)has been a partner of the event for the past few years and also developed the official Glastonbury application. The app was accessed nearly four million times, while EE also offered a phone charging service so music fans could continue to communicate, take pictures and find out more about the acts.

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.

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