EE to trial 5G at Glastonbury Festival
Written by: Sam Fenwick | Published:

EE, Glastonbury Festival’s technology partner for the sixth year, will trial 5G at the event, installing five temporary masts across the Worthy Farm site and these will broadcast 2G, 3G, 4G, along with 5G for the first time.

While 5G-capable devices will be able to connect to EE’s on-site 5G network (EE is looking to launch its commercial network alongside five 5G smartphones, a 5G customer-premises equipment – CPE – device and a 5G hotspot device), it will be mostly used to provide users of non-5G capable devices with additional bandwidth via 5G CPEs, which will provide connectivity via Wi-Fi and use 5G for backhaul, and these will be centred around the EE Recharge Tent, which as before will provide festival-goers with free access to wireless and USB C charging stations. Each CPE will be able to serve around 30 users at once, so during the festival a few hundred people will be able to connect to 5G at a time via the 5G CPEs.

Around 40 MHz of spectrum will be used for 5G New Radio (non-standalone), compared to 70MHz for LTE and 20MHz of 3G. The operator is looking to provide 5G coverage to about half of the festival’s area.

Emily Eavis at Glastonbury Festival 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.”

Pete Jeavons, marketing and communications director at BT and EE, said: “Smartphones have become a festival must-have as we’ve seen each year with more and more data being consumed at Glastonbury Festival. 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.”

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