EE brings 5G to Glastonbury 2019

(Image credit: EE) (Image credit: EE)

EE is building a 5G network for this year’s Glastonbury Festival, giving attendees the chance to be among the first to experience next-generation network technology.

The mobile operator will erect five temporary masts to complement the permanent 4G sites it built for the festival in 2017. These sites not only provide coverage to festival-goers, but also to the residents of the Somerset village.

With EE unlikely to have made its 5G service available to consumers in time for the festival, which starts on June 28, there will be opportunities to see the network in action.

Glastonbury 5G

But most will benefit from the additional 4G coverage. EE expects data consumption to increase yet again to more than 70TB across the weekend, with Instagram posts and videos likely to cause a surge in demand.

EE will once again offer charging tents and its power bar service at Worthy Farm. Anyone can buy a power bar for £20 in the leadup to the festival and exchange it for a freshly charged one each day. EE has also been involved in the development of the official application.

“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 Jevons, marketing communications director at BT and EE.

“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.”

“We’re extremely pleased to have EE back again, providing the best possible network for our rural site,” added Glastonbury’s Emily Eavis. “And it’s great that we’re going to be one of the first places in the UK to offer 5G.”

EE has been involved with Glastonbury for six years, inheriting the partnership from Orange when it merged with T-Mobile in 2010. Previous initiatives have seen smart tents and Wi-Fi-enabled cows.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.