EE May Increase Network For 2015 Glastonbury Festival

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

EE hopes to offer patrons of next year’s Glastonbury Festival an expanded mobile phone network

Mobile operator EE may expand its network coverage at next year’s Glastonbury Festival.

The operator said it has significant amounts of allocated spectrum, which it can utilise to expand its network for 4G customers at next year’s music event that takes place annually in rural Somerset.

Expanded 4G?

EE has previous experience in providing new and innovate solutions at the festival. At this year’s festival for example, EE built a 4G-powered Wi-Fi network that placed hotspots around the festival site, hidden inside life-size fiberglass cows.

EE Highspeed HerdThose ‘Moobile’ hotspots were based on the Worthy Farm’s famous dairy cows, which occupy the site when it isn’t being used for the festival. It also build a temporary 2G, 3G and 4G network around the site.

But the operator could also offer an expanded network for next year’s festival.

“We’re very pleased with how the network functioned over the course of the festival. The success rate was incredibly high for such a densely populated area,” an EE spokesperson told TechweekEurope.

“Glastonbury is a complex network project – we had to ensure that the network could deal with the dramatic peaks in usage – both download and upload – created by the big acts; our biggest peak in upload was during Metallica on the Saturday night,” said the spokesperson. “More customers in 2015 will be on 4G, and we have significantly more spectrum that we can make use of for the festival, so we should have an even better network experience.”

In December last year, EE revealed it would invest £275 million in its voice service next year as it seeks to complement its superfast 4G network with better mobile calls. It also said it would trial future services such as Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Voice over Wi-Fi in 2014.

Festival Solutions

EE has long been involved in providing solutions for the famous music festival.

Since April this year, EE offered attendees the chance to purchase an EE Power Bar for their smartphones which were exchanged for a freshly charged unit as many times as they wanted throughout the festival.

orangepowerwelliesOrange, which merged with T-Mobile to form EE in 2010, created a pair of phone charging wellies in its role as the 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 simultaneously boosts phone signal, in 2012.

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

Last month, EE revealed that it had rolled out its 4G service to 15 additional towns, bringing the total number of large towns and cities served by the fast network to 215, and villages and small towns to 2,588.

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