The GSMA has announced that it is cancelling the Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2020 because of the ongoing global concerns with regards to travel and safety on account of novel coronavirus outbreak.
Happening on a yearly basis, Mobile World Congress Barcelona started way back in the year 1987 (33 years ago) as a unique global platform where telecom vendors, operators, carriers and the ecosystem converges.
It usually attracts about 100,000 attendees with thousands of companies as participants coming from over 200 countries across the length and breadth of the globe. This year’s show was supposed to take place on February 24-27.
The event came under heavy clouds of uncertainity as a large number of telecoms and communications vendors, such as Ericsson, Ciena, Verizon, Amdocs, Accedian, Sony, vivo, HMD, LG, etc recently withdrew from participating in the event and hence, with every day passing by, MWC Barcelona 2020 was coming under the cover of dark clouds from Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak.
In a statement, John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Limited mentioned that it was getting impossible to execute the event in such circumstances.
“Since the first edition of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in 2006, the GSMA has convened the industry, governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem.
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 statement mentioned.
So far the deadly Coronavirus has killed more than 1300 people and infected more than 60,000 people worldwide. The vast majority of these cases are happening in mainland China. However, the World Health Organisation has warned that this can change pretty fast and the global outbreak could go in any direction.
Considering the grave danger that the novel coronavirus is posing for everyone and especially for anyone who is traveling somewhere – this is defenitely a good decision by the GSMA to not hold the mega event this year.