back to article MWC now means 'Mobiles? Whatever! Coronavirus!' as Ericsson becomes latest to pass on industry shindig

The list of vendors pulling out of Mobile World Congress (MWC) over coronavirus continues to grow. The latest to fall out is Swedish comms kit provider Ericsson, a big player in 5G hardware. In a statement, Ericsson said the health and safety of employees and customers was a "top priority". Smaller version of https://regmedia …

  1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

    Why did the risk assessment need to be extensive ? It's pretty simple to comprehend : go to place packed with plenty of people in the middle of world-wide pandemic and your people might get sick. Do you want to risk that ? Yes / No (check as appropriate).

    What other factor was extensively examined ? The amount of money they wouldn't make vs the costs of being there ? Doesn't that make their declaration a bit hypocritical (as in : we found that we wouldn't make enough money to justify risking the health of our employees) ?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

      The extensive would be, evaluating if it really is a problem. You know that flu has killed over 10000 people so far this winter, infected millions compared to coronavirus ~500 deaths, nearly all in China.

      Coronavirus currently has a higher mortality rate (~2% compared to 0.05% for flu), but that could currently be due to where the outbreaks started and how well and quickly they have been treated.

      So the risk to weigh is, should people be exposed to something that could be worse than the flu, whats the likely hood of them getting it, what is the health care system like at that location, would families sue due to sending people to a location that could have them infected.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

        The problem is, we simply don't have enough information about this outbreak yet to make that kind of extensive risk assessment. Since the Chinese Communist Party are professional liars we'll probably only understand the true danger when the infection starts to ramp up in the West.

        One thing is for sure, China doesn't put 60 million people under martial law style lock down for the seasonal flu, so the "it's just the flu" crowd really, really ought to STFU about now.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

          In Wuhan, where they have cut off supplies, moving people into 'quarantine areas' which have limited medical supplies and staff, increasing the chances of deaths.

          Outside of Wuhan, the death rate is currently at around 0.2%.

          The reason for all this, isn't because of how bad it is, its because of the fear of what could happen if it is left uncontrolled and it spreads, and mutates. It isn't worse than flu, but the fear is, if it mutates, it will be.

          China is willing (don't they always) to sacrifice these people with it in Wuhan, putting them all together, away from the general population and let them die if they are not strong enough.

          If you did the same with all the people that get the flu, you would also get a massive increase in deaths.

      2. 89724102172714182892114I7551670349743096734346773478647892349863592355648544996312855148587659264921 Bronze badge

        Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

        >2%'s closer to 15% in a leaked Chinese Gov dossier

        1. Stumpy

          Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

          The figures from the CDC still show the mortality rate at around 2.04%

          This article gives a fairly good, measured analysis of the outbreak and what it might mean leading into the future...

          1. Carpet Deal 'em

            Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

            As I recall, China only reports confirmed cases: if they don't get a test result that says you definitely have a coronavirus infection, then you don't get to be part of the official death toll, no matter how obvious it is. With them running low on test kits and hospital beds, that means that their official figures are going to become worthless quite quickly(assuming they aren't already - that China's already rolled out the entire apparatus of oppression to fight it suggests they're working off some far more severe numbers).

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

              But that goes both ways. People who servive and are not tested also don't get counted. So if the percentage of both is the same, then the fact that people who die and are not tested, are not included in the count will not make a difference, just the numbers will be lower.

      3. Muscleguy Silver badge

        Re: They needed an "extensive internal risk assessment" ?

        The average death rate for flu might be 0.05% but Swine Flu was higher than that and the Spanish flu epidemic higher again.

        I'm asthmatic, only slightly since I live above the beach in Dundee but I can't have flu vaxes since I had a nasty, throat closing, allergic reaction to my last one back in the Noughties. So I live in fear of flu filling my lungs up, that getting infected and needing antibiotics to fend of pneumonia or pleurisy and hope the bacteria aren't multidrug resistant.

        I will not have any products which claim to be 'antibacterial' in my house since I do not want to contract a drug resistant bug. The bugs which are resistant to microban for eg are also cross resistant to Vancomycin one of our last resort antibiotics.

        Also simply ecology tells me if I use products to kill 99.9% of bacteria that will leave the field open for the 0.1% who are resistant. When all the others are there they hold the 0.1% in check by competition and inhibition. Besides simple soap and water work well enough and there's bleach. Before I make sausages for eg I clean the bench area then spray it with bleach, leave it 5minutes then wipe it off. Nobody has ever gotten sick from eating my sausages or sausage meat.

        True sterility outside of extremely clean rooms is impossible and bacteria are everywhere*. So the question becomes which bacteria do you want around?

        *I have some flour and water sitting in a propped open coplin jar waiting for it to go sourdough. It's on top of the fish tank to stay warm and get infected from it. My bugs are slightly fruty tasting. Sourdough is healthy, it's probiotic. All those baked bacterial and yeast carcasses are food for your gut bacteria. Fermented stuff is good for you generatlly. I make my own yogurt and have some sauerkraut going.

  2. Starace

    Smart move

    Looking at how things are progressing in China by the time MWC kicks off we'll have moved past 'Contagion' and be well into The Stand.

  3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    End of MWC?

    In the days when this was called GSM World it used to be seen as a useful place for technical meetings, but I get the impression that it's now become one of those trade shows that's mostly a marketing junket on expenses which none of the companies really needs, but none wants to be the first not to go. Maybe they'll decide now that it's had its day?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End of MWC?

      I don't think it's dead yet. The real work of MWC is not the glitzy trade stands and booths with shiny crap. It's upstairs, in the anonymous meeting rooms that the vendors rent. MWC remains the best opportunity to get all your customers (or all your vendors) in one place, at the same time, at the right level (mid/senior execs) and really hammer out business. It's almost like a speed dating event. and then, after ten hours of that, you go to dinner with your comrades and your competitors and your customers.

      I can't say I like MWC particularly, but I can confirm that yes, sh** gets done there.

      1. Graham Cobb Silver badge

        Re: End of MWC?

        I pretty much agree. The stand can be useful if you actually get a relevant mid-level customer person (for example, manager of the group who will buy or run your product) and you have a good, knowledgeable and enthusiastic presenter. In the right circumstances you can really get your message across without it being lost by a non-expert salesperson talking to someone too high in the customer who cannot appreciate your actual differentiator.

        Unfortunately, the show is so large that that vendor and customer will probably never find each other. Unless the vendor has good salespeople making sure they find out exactly who is coming to MWC and making sure the relevant person really comes to the booth, it only works for very large and large vendors. Even then maybe only one of those good conversations per demo per day.

        Small vendors can spend the whole show without ever seeing a walk-in relevant customer. Just a stream of students from the local university, people looking for jobs and consultants wanting to sell YOU stuff!

        I went every year for 20 years (starting in Cannes) and I don't miss it. Well, maybe the CBOSS girls.

        1. quxinot

          Re: End of MWC?

          > ...has good salespeople...<

          No such animal, sorry. That's like questioning if there's such a thing as a useful HR droid--the answer is a resounding no.

          1. VicMortimer

            Re: End of MWC?

            Five downvotes? Looks like the salesdroids are reading El Reg today.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: End of MWC?

      Phil O'Sophical> In the days when this was called GSM World it used to be seen as a useful place for technical meetings

      Do you you mean when it was held in Cannes?

      Ahh... there was nothing like spending a week on the Cote D'Azur, home of the Groupe Spéciale Mobile, on the company nickel.

  4. adam 40 Silver badge

    You might have thought in this day and age...

    You could man the stand with telepresence bots???

    No risk surely - and also show off your company's tech savvy?

    1. jelabarre59

      Re: You might have thought in this day and age...

      Just have every company staff the booths with robots, and your attendees could just send swag-collecting drones in their own stead.

    2. JakeMS

      Re: You might have thought in this day and age...

      I think the TV show "The Big Bang Theory" was onto something!

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