Cutting hedge technology will keep Glastonbury Festival goers online
Visitors to the UK's Glastonbury Festival this week will be able to upload festival spam to their heart's content, with tech and comms partner EE offering free Wi-Fi by way of 4G-enabled topiary artworks. The firm says its provision for Glastonbury is the UK's biggest temporary 4G network.
The topiary structures take the form of mini versions of some of Glastonbury's most famous landmarks, like the Pyramid Stage, the Arcadia spider and the Park Tower. If you think that sounds a little abstract, bear in mind that on-site Wi-Fi has previously been broadcast from fiberglass cows.
The structures, created by horticultural artist Agrumi, are sculpted from moss and decorated with silk flowers, ribbons and LEDs. They have been designed to fit in with the huge number of other artworks, sculptures and sets to which the festival plays host, and are placed at popular locations around the site.
EE says the 4G Wi-Fi technology built into the structures is new for 2016 and that it employs the Cradlepoint Advanced Edge Routing (AER) Series, which is designed for use in remote locations where wired connectivity may not be available. Using this technology, multiple people will be able to login and receive superfast 4G speed from hotspots at the same time.
In order to accommodate the mobile traffic at this year's festival, which EE tells Gizmag includes an anticipated 15 TB of data, the mobile carrier has been making a variety of other preparations. It has added a sixth mobile antenna to the site, and it has tripled the 4G spectrum capacity being provided.
Elsewhere, the firm says it reviewed congestion graphs from last year's festival so as to inform the implementation of its network this time round, with optimum locations for each of the antennas having been identified. 4G Calling (VoLTE) that allows phone calls to be carried over the 4G network has also been introduced, and 2G and 3G access is also being provided.
The gates open at Glastonbury on Wednesday morning at the festival runs through until Sunday. EE's Wi-Fi hedges will run from 10am until 10pm from Thursday to Sunday.