EE To Bring 4G To Glastonbury And Offer Power Bars To Charge Revellers’ Phones

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’s £20 power bars can be used and swapped for fully charged ones, so Glastonbury visitors skip the charging tent queues

EE is to build a 4G network at Worthy Farm for this year’s Glastonbury Festival while it will also offer festival-goers the chance to buy a power bar which can be exchanged for a freshly charged unit as many times as users want between 25 and 29 June.

The mobile operator is the official technology and communications partner of Glastonbury and will once again run a charging tent, allowing users of any mobile network to power their phone, with chargers for “hundreds” of device types provided, including “retro” handsets.

EE Glastonbury Power Bar

EE will also operate an ‘exchange tent’ next door, allowing visitors with an EE Power Bar to avoid the queues. The device can be bought for £20 online up until 9 June and a limited number will be for sale on-site:  the operator recommends you get yours in advance.

EE Glastonbury

Other power bars will not be accepted and EE says it is almost certain you will go home with a different unit to the one you brought with you due to the nature of the service.

In addition to providing 4G, EE will also offer LTE-powered Wi-Fi in its tents, while the Glastonbury app will be available to download for iOS and Android from June, offering scheduling tools, interactive maps and social features.

“Last year we saw a huge increase in photo and video uploads on our network at Glastonbury as people shared their magical festival moments from across the site,” explains Spencer McHugh, brand director at EE. “By providing superfast 4G at the Festival alongside the launch of our new charging solution, the EE Festival Power Bar, we will make sure all those at the UK’s best-loved festival can stay connected and share content more easily and quicker than ever before.”

Festival tech

Orange, which merged with T-Mobile to form EE, created a pair of phone charging wellies in its role as official communications partner of Glastonbury 2010, while in 2011 it showed off a phone charging T-Shirt. Vodafone has also been keen to get in on the act, and released a solar powered charging brolly, which also boosts phone signal, in 2012.

This year’s EE offering is a change from previous years’ offerings, in that it is more than just the kind of media photo-opportunity documented in our gallery below. The Power Bar, it seems, could actually work – and most unusually of all, it seems it will actually be available.

EE recently announced another major commercial deal, when it agreed to become the first ever official sponsor of Wembley Stadium in a deal which will also see the operator boost 4G signal at the national stadium.

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Festival Phone Charging Technologies

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Orange Power Wellies 2010
In 2010, Orange suggested harvesting thermal energy from feet using "Power Wellies"

 

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