EE predicts this year's Glastonbury-goers will use 15 terabytes of data: equivalent of downloading three million Adele tracks

  • Glastonbury Festival 2016 is predicted to be the most connected music festival* in the world as EE triples capacity of UK’s biggest temporary 4G network on site
  • Festival-goers are expected to use more than 20 times as much mobile data in 2016 as they did in 2011, the last time Coldplay headlined the show
  • Twice as much content will be shared using the EE 4G network at Glastonbury as across the whole of Bristol over the same weekend
  • EE will also be delivering phone charging and free 4G WiFi on site as well as the official app as part of its partnership with the UK’s best-loved festival

EE, the UK’s largest mobile network operator, predicts Glastonbury 2016 will be the most connected green-field music festival in the world as it prepares to install the largest and most powerful temporary 4G network seen at any UK event.

The amount of data consumed by festival goers at this sold out event has been rapidly increasing since the launch of 4G, and this year EE predicts that with 135,000 revellers on site, EE customers will use a colossal 15 terabytes of data via its 4G network over the course of the five days. This mind-boggling amount of data is the equivalent of:

  • Uploading 63 million Pyramid stage selfies
  • Downloading Adele’s hit single Hello three million times
  • Streaming artist performances on BBC iPlayer continually for six years
  • 20 times as much mobile data as festival-goers used in 2011, the last time Coldplay headlined the festival

Whether uploading selfies to Instagram, sharing memorable moments via Snapchat, checking in on Facebook, or joining the conversation on Twitter, EE’s bespoke network will allow experiences to be shared seamlessly so festival-goers can spend more time embracing all Glastonbury has to offer. Festival-goers will use EE’s 4G network to share twice as much content in five days as people across the whole of Bristol – the South West’s largest city.

Planning for the temporary 4G network at Glastonbury starts nine months prior to the festival and installation of the high capacity mobile base stations commences four weeks before. To cope with the data demand, EE has added a sixth mobile site this year, and tripled the amount of mobile airwaves for customers to use. For the first time ever customers will also be able to make calls on the EE 4G network with EE’s launch of ‘4G Calling’.

Spencer McHugh, Director of Brand at EE, said:

“People in the UK are using their mobiles more than ever before to share cherished experiences. 2016 has already seen 4G data usage increase by at least 40% at other major events year on year and this trend shows no sign of slowing down. Each year social media feeds all over the world are flooded with images and videos of Glastonbury Festival so, in anticipation of the huge demand we expect to see at Worthy Farm this June, we’ve tripled our 4G capacity thanks to a number of new innovative network technologies.”

The official Glastonbury 2016 app, developed in partnership with EE, will be available to download in early June, allowing festival-goers to get up-to-the-minute news on the weekend’s entertainment and live stream the BBC’s coverage. Customers who download the app can drop location pins over the weekend to ensure they don’t lose their friends, tent or car at Worthy Farm. More information on charging at the festival will be announced in the coming weeks.

The technology behind the network:

EE’s investment in building a 4G network capable of supporting the amazing appetite for data at Glastonbury Festival includes:

  • Adding a sixth temporary mobile antenna unit to the network to improve coverage and increase capacity
  • Identifying optimum locations for all six mobile sites to deliver 4G coverage to all areas of the festival
  • Reviewing congestion graphs from 2015 to optimise capacity for the 2016 event
  • Tripling the 4G spectrum capacity, adding 35MHz of 2600MHz spectrum to the existing 20MHz of 1800MHz spectrum
  • Implementing 4G Calling (VoLTE) to allow phone calls to be carried over the 4G network
  • Implementing state-of-the-art six sector antenna technology to optimise capacity
  • Deploying the full EE portfolio of 2G and 3G spectrum
  • Increasing backhaul capacity to provide an optimum data experience

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*Green-field music festival

For further information, please contact:

Georgia Sharp / 

Demi Mantell / 

About EE

EE, part of the BT Group, is the largest and most advanced mobile communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers and businesses. EE has approximately 14,000 employees and 550 retail stores, and serves more than 31 million connections across its mobile, fixed and wholesale networks.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, it pioneered the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012 and is the first European operator to surpass 14million 4G customers. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 95% of the UK population, with double speed 4G reaching 80%. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®; Best Network at the 2014 and 2015 Mobile News Awards; Best Network for Business and Best Consumer Network at the 2014 & 2015 Mobile Industry Awards; Best Network at the 2014 & 2015 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, and Best Network at the What Mobile Awards 2014; Fastest Network at the 2014 and 2016 uSwitch Mobile Awards; Best Mobile Network at the 2014 Recombu Awards, and Winners of Best Connected Gadget at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2015.

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