Coronavirus had had an impact also on the telecom sector’s biggest event Mobile World Congress (MWC). The GSM Association, the global body of telecommunications companies, has decided to cancel the 2020 edition of the Mobile World Congress to be held in Barcelona, Spain, due to health concerns related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Due to the coronavirus spread in China, many giants had opted out of the event. These include Vodafone, Cisco, LG, Vivo, NTT DoCoMo, Sony, Amazon, Facebook, MediaTek and Intel among others. The Mobile Congress was to be held from 24 to 27 February.
The GSM Association (GSMA) gave this information on Thursday. GSMA has been organizing this event in Barcelona since 2006. Ministers, policymakers and telecom companies from various countries and their officials discuss the changes in technology in the telecom industry at this event.
The GSM Association said in a statement, “GSMA has cancelled the 2020 version of MWC in order to have a safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and Spain. It is impossible for GSMA to hold the event due to concerns over the coronavirus.”
The association said, “Our sympathies are with people affected by coronaviruses in China and around the world at the moment. We will continue to work together for the 2021 and further editions of the Mobile World Congress.”
GSMA CEO John Hoffman said, “With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event. The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
The GSMA is a trade body representing 1,200 plus telecom companies across the world. The Mobile World Congress offers a chance to thousands of entrepreneurs to assemble at one place to look for partnerships, deals, and product launches.
The event is held annually in Barcelona. It has a big economic impact of € 492 million. It generates 14,100 part-time jobs.