Our network | 08 Jun 2023

Summer of strong signal: Vodafone gears up for 2023 events  

For dozens of festivals, shows and events across the country this summer, from the Scottish Open to the Bournemouth Air Festival, Vodafone is working hard to ensure that visitors can stay connected.

As the warmer weather kicks in, thoughts naturally turn to making the most of the summer ahead. Vodafone is no exception, with the company finalising its network plans for the busiest UK events calendar it has seen in years.   

Whether it’s a music festival, a major sporting event or an agriculture show, Vodafone is bolstering its UK network to cope with the seasonal surge in demand from customers. Perfect for those who want to share their event experience with friends and family or check what time their favourite band is due on stage.    

Temporary masts, mounted on trusty trailers – known as Cells On Wheels or COWs! – are being rolled out to more than 50 events taking place across the summer. They include: 

  • Royal Ascot: 20-24 June 
  • The Royal Norfolk Show: 28-29 June 
  • Genesis Scottish Open: 13-16 July 
  • Royal International Air Tattoo: 14-16 July 
  • Latitude Festival: 20-23 July 
  • New Forest & Hampshire County Show: 25-27 July 
  • Brighton Pride: 4-7 August 
  • National Eisteddfod of Wales: 5-12 August 
  • Boardmaster Festival: 9-13 August 
  • Bristol International Balloon Fiesta: 10-13 August 
  • Creamfield North: 24-27 August 
  • Bournemouth Air Festival: 31 August – 3 September 

Additionally, if you’re attending one of the festivals and sporting events that Vodafone is partnering with in 2023 – such as Wimbledon, BST Hyde Park, Mighty Hoopla, Kendal Calling and Glastonbury – then naturally you can look forward to something beyond a great network experience.

Vodafone 5G gives deaf and hard-of-hearing fans a first-of-its-kind live music experience

The wearable tech lets fans feel the music through vibrations, delivered by 24 touch-points around the suit, to provide a multi-sensory experience.

Across our partnerships, we will use our world-leading connectivity and the power of 5G to enhance the experience for fans and deliver innovative experiences using our cutting-edge technology. Last year’s highlights included developing 5G-powered haptic suits for deaf and hard-of-hearing music fans at Mighty Hoopla, and creating a show-stopping live AR concert for British icon Elton John at BST Hyde Park.  

2023 has already been a busy year, with our network at Cheltenham racecourse seeing a 35% increase in data traffic during this year’s festival. The Coronation saw temporary masts placed in key locations close to Hyde Park and Buckingham Palace.  As a result, we saw a more than 90% increase in use of data across the area, compared to a typical Saturday.

Supercharge your Glastonbury and SIM-ultaneously donate to local community

For every purchased power bank, Vodafone will donate a pre-loaded SIM card to charities in local communities. Onsite at the Festival itself, Glastonbury-goers can exchange their depleted power bank for a fully charged one, once a day.

While temporary masts can support temporary events, we’re also ensuring venues such as stadia have the coverage they need throughout the year. This includes Wembley Stadium and ICC Birmingham where new systems are currently being installed to boost both our 4G and 5G coverage.

These are exciting projects as, with 5G, not only do the stadia have technology which can handle ever-increasing numbers of visitors, they can also start to experiment with new fan experiences, such as live-streaming videos, mixed-reality experiences, and real time access to on-pitch information.

So, whether it’s checking the state of the traffic as you leave the campsite or that once-in-a-lifetime AR experience, our planning and relentless improvements will ensure that the summer of 2023 will be one to remember.

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