Operator predicts data use during festival will rocket to more than 70 Terabytes

EE on Wednesday announced plans to trial 5G at this year’s Glastonbury Festival, under a renewed technology partnership that has now been going for six years.

The mobile operator said festival goers will have the chance to experience 5G for themselves…except of course, no one in the UK owns a 5G phone, so what they will actually experience is Wi-Fi backhauled by 5G.

With the access interface going over Wi-Fi then, users might not necessarily know from looking at their phone screen that what they’re using is 5G. EE has no doubt considered this, and will hopefully have an informative sign-in screen, or even representatives on hand to explain to revellers that even though it looks and acts like Wi-Fi, some of what they’re using is actually 5G.

For those attendees who don’t go to Glastonbury for the tech briefings, EE will also make sure there is also lots of plain old 4G capacity at the event, which is good, because data usage at Worthy Farm is expected to surge once again.

At the last festival in 2017, EE saw mobile data consumption come in at an impressive 54 Terabytes. This year, the operator predicts that consumption will soar to 70 Terabytes, an increase of almost 30%.

"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 BT and EE, in a statement. "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."