back to article The virus curing the mobile industry's chronic addiction... and sparking an impressive algorithmic price experiment

One of the biggest experiments in algorithmic price management is currently underway, as the GSMA, the mobile industry's lobby body, has scrapped this year’s Mobile World Congress gabfest. MWC Barcelona was due to start in ten days. But the GSMA crumbled after a week when the likes of Cisco, Sony, Intel, AT&T and Facebook …

  1. ARGO


    "100,000 aircraft seats are suddenly empty. 100,000 hotel beds slumber undisturbed."

    They might go unused, but typical terms for that week are "no refunds", so it's the overbooking algorithm that will be getting a workout.

  2. Warm Braw

    Expect the biggest fire sale ever

    Currently, the Fira Travelodge is offering rooms on Monday, 24th February for €823.99. Yes, a Travelodge.

    Hard to feel sorry for their loss of business, though I suspect they'll in fact get paid twice.

    1. davenewman

      Re: Expect the biggest fire sale ever

      Fira Travelodge has gone down to €259.99 in 2 hours.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Expect the biggest fire sale ever

        Now down to ~€60

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Expect the biggest fire sale ever



          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Expect the biggest fire sale ever

            I remember being in reception at a hotel in Milan during an exhibition where we had paid rather a lot in an advance booking. An Italian woman came in and asked if they had a room.

            -Unfortunately we are full.

            -I'm sorry, I don't believe it.

            (some argument, pouting, cleavage display)

            -Well, maybe we have a room but it is {eye-watering amount} per night.


            (more argument, more pouting, more cleavage display)

            Eventually she got him down to about a quarter of the original amount. I realised it was just a game that they both got pleasure from, though we did speculate afterwards in our sexist way as to what might comprise room service.

    2. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Expect the biggest fire sale ever

      The next time you're in a hotel in a large city, read the notice on the inside of the door. It will explain to you why, for example, a TraveLodge costs €600+ per night. You'll see that the city/county/state/etc apply a convention tax for +-convention dates. I'm not saying that TraveLodge doesn't add %10 during conferences, but most of the upcharge is tax.

  3. MudFever


    Bet that wasn't the name the Wuhan Institute of Virology gave the virus when ...

    1. Andy Mac

      Re: COVID-19

      Did they really have to pick a name that sounds like it comes from a cheap disaster novel?

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      1. macjules

        Re: COVID-19

        Bloody Timelords. Would have thought they had some imagination.

        1. RegGuy1 Silver badge

          Re: COVID-19

          Well he/she is/was/will be a doctor.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Spot on.

    I always find that there's an uncomfortable trend in 'company only' conferences where people who are supposedly customers have to pay to see what the roadmap .. and are effectively brainwashed for 3 days... I blame AWS for starting that trend!

    1. James Turner

      Pah, AWS are newbies at this conference lark. Cisco have been doing Cisco Live for 30 years now.

      Though they just had to cancel the one scheduled for Melbourne next month due to Covid-19.

  5. Isn't it obvious?

    Re: Having Oracle tell you how fantastic Oracle is.

    If they don't tell you, who will?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Having Oracle tell you how fantastic Oracle is.

      Delighted customers ?

      Except I think O**cle now sues anyone using the word O**cle, even in a positive review

    2. stiine Silver badge

      Re: Having Oracle tell you how fantastic Oracle is.

      Are you going to answer that question?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Having Oracle tell you how fantastic Oracle is.

        It was retOracle

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Having Oracle tell you how fantastic Oracle is.

          Thank you stiine, btw, for the perfect feedline.

  6. The Axe

    Wasn't the 100,000 hotel places and flight seats nicked from Tim Worstall? Or did Worstall nick it from you?

    1. John Sager

      Tim picked up on this item.

  7. oiseau
    Thumb Down


    ...the more marketing runs it, the less useful it is.

    ... they only have solutions. Expensive solutions.

    Marketing and the droids running it, are an abortion of nature and will usually ruin anything just to put their paws on it towards getting more of a bonus at the end of the year.


  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have to say you're right about the peer-run conferences. I always thoroughly enjoy the 'hacker' conferences in the Netherlands and the presentations from Chaos Computer Club Congress etc. I learn so much from them. It's so great to see how knowledge flows so much better without the suits in attendance. Everyone you speak to is open and collaborative, nobody is trying to sell anything but free knowledge. In those cases I think there is real added value to meeting up in person.

    I visit some major company-sponsored events as well but I don't find them nearly as useful. You only get a carefully crafted spin on the real story which doesn't tell you the pitfalls of a 'solution' and even when you meet peers they're afraid to say anything critical as nobody paid for their own ticket.

    And I think it's partially counterproductive too. I'd be much more inclined to choose a solution from a company that's actually honest about their product, and easy to work with (rather than being stuck in ticket queues at an outsourced support desk because nobody really cares about support after the contract is signed).

  9. Gustavo Fring

    just like Razors

    Folding is the new must have ... but thats only a single fold, soon there'll be a double and treble fold , as the one-upmanship takes hold. AS mentioned elsewhere keeping your phone for ten or more years is a btter idea ,

    128Mp camera on a phone with 120x zoom LOL just for selfies?

  10. Conundrum1885

    So is this

    Like the biological equivalent of Wannacry? Or would the closer analogy be the Melissa worm?

    1. Blackjack Silver badge

      Re: So is this

      Is basically Pig Flu 2.0

  11. Conundrum1885

    I confidently predict

    That the next iPhone will have:

    FLIR through-the-screen cameras


    One gigantic screen, both front and back

    Dual batteries

    Multi standard wireless charging

    FaceID, touchID, RetID

  12. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    For All Future Remote IntelAIgent Private and Pirate Public Service Applications ..*AVROMissions

    Crikey, Rupert Goodwins, that's right ..... how much simpler to host Future Remote IntelAIgent Telecommunications pitches here on El Reg ........... for all worlds to see and hear written in Novel Noble Text painting the Way IT and Media Present to the Masses the Views and Thoughts Made Available Today for Tomorrow which will then be a Yesterday in a Future ..... Another Time and Space Place Presently Telecommunicating Advanced IntelAIgent Planning with Y'all.

    Are your Systems AI Receptive or Firewalled against Progressive Elements/SMARTR Crack Code Hatters?

    *Augmented Virtual Reality Operating Missions.

    For all such is easily readily made instantly available. Do you need it Proven?

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: Augmented Virtual Reality Operating Missions.

      We believe this resolves all remaining questions on this topic ..... :-)

      Thanks, xkcd. And so very Spookily APT* and timely too.

      * Advanced Persistent Threat and/or Treat.

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