A 5G mobile network will be trialled at Glastonbury Festival 2019, EE has announced.
The trial will be part of EE’s ongoing trials of the new technology, which will begin to be rolled out across the country before the end of this year. The world-famous music festival, which will run from June 26 to June 30 at Worthy Farm in Somerset, will be the first time that 5G will be used at a festival in the UK.
5G is the new generation of mobile network, following on from its predecessor, 4G. The new technology will offer download speeds of up to 20 times the current speed of 4G, allowing users to stream their favourite shows on Netflix seamlessly without buffering or interruptions.
EE, part of the BT Group, has said it will install five temporary masts at the site of the festival, allowing revellers to access not only the 5G network, but also 4G, 3G and 2G. Around 200,000 festival-goers are expected to attend this year’s event, which sold out within half an hour when tickets went on sale in October last year. The mobile network has predicted that over 70 terabytes of data will be used at the festival this year, equating to 784 million Instagram posts.
“Smartphones have become a festival must-have as we’ve seen each year with more and more data being consumed at Glastonbury Festival,” said Pete Jeavons, marketing and communications director at EE and BT. “As the long-standing technology partner to this iconic event, we are committed to building a network powerful enough to cope with this huge demand. With the introduction of 5G this year, we are able to trial this new technology at Worthy Farm and make history as the UK’s first 5G-connected festival.”
Emily Eavis, co-organiser of Glastonbury Festival along with her father, Michael Eavis, said: “We’re extremely pleased to have EE back again, providing the best possible network for our rural site. And it’s great that we’re going to be one of the first places in the UK to offer 5G.”
EE’s plans to introduce 5G technology across the UK include bringing it to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast throughout 2019. The telecoms company has said it will then introduce the technology to 10 more cities over the course of 2020. The company has also announced it plans to offer customers a 5G home router to provide an alternative to traditional broadband.
Alongside the trial of 5G technology at Glastonbury, EE announced that its Recharge Tent will return to the festival this year, where people will be able to charge their smartphones free of charge. The firm will also be selling Juice Tube Power Bars at £20 each, allowing customers to charge their phones on the go.
Headliners for this year’s Glastonbury Festival include The Killers, The Cure, Stormzy, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson and Miley Cyrus. The festival will be the first to take place at the site since 2017, after it took a break last year to give the land, locals and organisers a break.