EE, part of BT Group, launched its Helikite ‘air mast’ this weekend to broadcast a 360 degree live stream from the Red Bull Foxhunt downhill mountain biking event in rural Wales. This is the first time the balloon technology, designed to provide coverage on demand and in hard to reach places, has been used to provide mobile connectivity to consumers anywhere in the world.
The EE ‘air mast’ was flown 300 feet above Machynlleth, on the edge of Snowdonia National Park, to boost 4G coverage and capacity for the Red Bull event. Red Bull Foxhunt sees over 200 female riders play the role of ‘hounds’, who are then chased down a challenging course by the ‘fox’ – professional Mountain Bike racer Katy Winton.
To ensure everyone was connected no matter which mobile operator they were with, EE provided both 4G and 4G WiFi from the patent-pending ‘air mast’. The crowd of over 200 downhill riders and friends used 4G and WiFi from EE to share their high-octane experiences from the weekend, including cycling Instagram star Juliet Elliott from Bikes N Stuff, who live-streamed her practice run to EE’s Facebook page.