Virgin Media using custom smartphone apps to maintain free Wi-Fi at V Festival 2013

Virgin Media has been providing free superfast wireless internet at the V Festival for several years now, but has made steps to ensure that this weekend's event has the best signals yet.

Congestion can often lead to areas that can't connect or slow down dramatically, so the provider and headline sponsor of the festival will employ the use of mPortal Wi-Fi perfomance management software to help it identify trouble spots in order to increase the quality of connection.

Virgin Media Angels and on-site engineers will have the application loaded on to their own smartphones and it will then crowd-source real-time diagnostics about the signal. It works alongside the GPS sensors on handsets to plot on a map the areas with the strongest Wi-Fi signal, the fastest speeds and highest demand. The team can then work to plug any holes as they happen.

"Providing Wi-Fi at festivals can be very complex, with surges of highly localised demand. Many smartphones also automatically, and often continuously, send and receive updates. All this wireless traffic causes congestion - just like on the roads - which needs managing to help us to improve the quality and reliability of the WiFi network," said Neil Illingworth, head of advanced technology and innovations trials at Virgin Media.

"This handy app uses the GPS location of our staff as they move around the festival. It records the Wi-Fi signal strength and network speed where they are, and sends this data to our servers in the cloud so we can identify any problem areas and provide the best possible WiFi experience."

Read: What does it take to photograph the V Festival? 12 DSLRs and 100GB for starters

The V Festival will also be the venue from which Sony mobile will streaming exclusive acoustic gigs on its Facebook page.

As part of the Virgin Media Lounder Lounge VIP area on the Hyland Park, Chelmsford site, the Xperia Access acoustic stage will host such acts as Paloma Faith, Labrinth, Laura Mvula, AME and Lissie in private, stripped down shows to handfuls of celebrities and invited revellers. However, you will also be able to see them perform through the Xperia Access section on Sony Mobile's UK Facebook page, where they will be exclusively streamed.

Other Xperia-branded events are happening in the main arena too, with prizes and tickets to the Virgin Media Our House garden up for grabs.

The V Festival will kick off on 17 August for two days in both Hylands Park, Chelmsford and Weston Park, Staffordshire.



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