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EE to use new spectrum in a bid to improve network at Glastonbury 2015

Sam Shead | July 7, 2014
Most 2014 mobile uploads took place during Metallica set.

EE has revealed that it will improve the mobile phone network at next year's Glastonbury Festival by rolling out more spectrum to mobile phone users.

The mobile operator, recently ranked the best in the UK, said it will use more 1800MHz spectrum and some of its new 2600MHz spectrum to meet the demands of a growing number of 4G customers.

This year EE said it deployed a temporary network at Glastonbury with the highest capacity ever. An EE spokesperson told Techworld: "To meet the ever-increasing demand for voice and data services, we designed and deployed a unique solution that included a total of five high capacity 2G, 3G and 4G sites around the Glastonbury festival grounds."

But despite EE's efforts, several festival-goers took to Twitter to express their dismay at the performance of EE's network.

Dan Gilmore (@gillyglasto) Tweeted: "@EE after giving it a large one pre #glastonbury your service was just awful could barely get online to check Glasto related tweets #crapEE."

Meanwhile, Simon C (@No1Simon) Tweeted: "Loving the@VodafoneUK 4G coverage at Glastonbury! People on EE the festival sponsor network saying their coverage is s***!"

An EE spokesperson said: "We're very pleased with how the network functioned over the course of the festival - a lot of festival-goers were pleasantly surprised that they could make calls, send texts, use the app and even stream the football.

"Of course, there were a few dropped calls for customers, but the success rate was incredibly high for such a densely populated area. 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."

Beyond providing cellular coverage, EE offered free portable phone chargers to all festival attendees that could be exchanged around the site for a new one when they ran out of power. It also deployed a "herd of 4G Wi-Fi cows" that allowed customers from all mobile networks to access 4G internet speeds and built the official Glastonbury 2014 app, which was well received by many EE and non-EE customers.

The operator said next year customers will be able to make phone calls over 4G using a new service called VoLTE. Prior to the roll out of VoLTE, EE has revealed plans to introduce VoWi-Fi this autumn, which will allow customers to call people when they have no mobile reception, providing they have a Wi-Fi connection.

"We will continue to innovate to make the network experience better at Glastonbury and across the UK," said an EE spokesperson.

 

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