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The owner of the Mobile returns to the ‘pre-covid’ prices after two years of travel

Date: May 31, 2023 Time: 17:08:14

There is barely a month left for the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in the third edition after the suspension of 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic. And the organizer, GSMA, fine-tunes all the preparations. Ticket prices have returned to ‘pre-Covid’ levels, as have some ancillary services such as accommodation, say sources in the telecommunications sector. What has remained relatively stable is the cost of occupying the space, in which practically all the major sanitary restrictions, including the mask, disappear.

Just a year ago, the GSMA decided to maintain a special rate of 20 euros for local professionals, although with limitations -inherited from the harsh edition of the summer of 2021-. And it also froze the rest of the ticket prices, which companies and other organizations acquired. Now, for this 2023 the prices are reorganized and go up again. It is reduced from four to three levels and the entrance door rises from 699 euros without VAT to 799 euros before Covid. For VIPs there is only one of 4,500 euros left, when last year it was divided into two. In 2021, the highest was 4,195.

This is one of the organization’s sources of income, but it is not the only one. There is a fundamental activity: renting space at the Hospitalet de Llobregat fairgrounds in Barcelona. Large companies spend hundreds of thousands of euros to take over the space and build their own display. According to sources in the telecommunications sector, prices have remained more or less stable in this chapter, since what is usual is that the invoice is paid just after the previous edition is held. And there was no significant rise.

Hotels have traditionally been a headache for exhibiting companies and professionals who come to Barcelona due to the difficulty in finding space and the high prices paid. The covid radically changed this and prices never seen at the event were put on the table. Now, according to the same sources, they are increasing. And in the absence of uncertainty due to Covid, reservations have been significantly advanced compared to 2022 in which the Omicron variant continued to wreak havoc. They explain that the prices are on the rise compared to the last edition. The “best options” for three nights offered by the official agency of the GSMA, B-Network, range from 865 euros to 1,560 euros.

This is the first edition since the outbreak of the pandemic in which there will be no type of restriction, as reflected in the legal information on the event website. In 2022, the GSMA required a certificate of vaccination or recovery from the disease or a negative hardening test. In addition, it was required to wear an FFP2 type mask to access. Now, its ‘Health and Safety’ information that includes exhibitors is headed by a clear motto: “Open for business”. “We are excited to welcome everyone back to business, safely and without restrictions,” he said. Eyes are on the Chinese giant, where there has been a wave of cases in recent weeks.

The question of assistance

Regarding the large companies attending, at this time last year, specific face-to-face cancellations such as those of Lenovo or Sony have already been put on the table. On this occasion, the absence of problems in the health field means that announcements of this type are not expected. As in previous years, the main executives of the large telecommunications operators will be present at the presentations. The executive president of Telefónica, José María Álvarez-Pallete, and his counterpart in Orange, Christel Heydemann, will open fire. The CEO of Deutsche Telekom or that of any Chinese teleco is not confirmed, at least for now. At Vodafone they continue with their interim CEO.

The 2022 edition closed with an attendance that exceeded expectations. In total, more than 60,000 people attended, triple that of the summer of 2021, very marked by the pandemic. This volume represented half of what had been registered before the pandemic. On this occasion, a recovery of the attendees is expected. But it will be the litmus test of what a physical event means after what happened in 2020. The question lies in whether the previous levels will be achieved. There is still time to see how it evolves in the coming years, as the GSMA board of directors renewed the contract -for which almost 10 million euros came in- to keep the event in Barcelona until 2030.

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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