Connecting Glasto

Good quick read on Wired UK about the logistics behind getting the Glastonbury Festival – a temporary town of around 200,000 people – connected to mobile networks:

The key part of each site is the antenna. In most built environments, antennae are installed on rooftops, but this isn’t possible in a field. Instead, they are raised five to ten metres high on lattice towers. This year, EE is trialling a pneumatic system that uses air pressure to push the antenna up on a telescopic pole, reducing the risks incurred by engineers climbing and rigging the towers. The sites are delivered on trailers two weeks before the festival and each has its own power generator. The network is monitored at all hours by an operation centre based in Bristol, and an engineer stays on-site with a set of spare parts.

The piece was written before this year’s festival. Apparently the biggest spike in data traffic in 2017 (2018 was an off year) was during the Barry Gibb “legends” slot.

Hah hah hah hah stayin’ online, stayin’ online…