With a cascading number of companies announcing they would stay home, GSMA has canceled this year’s Mobile World Congress, which was slated for Feb. 24-27, in Barcelona. The show, which brings together 100,000 people from 200 counties including thousands from China, was hemorhaging support. Nokia was the latest exhibitor to dropout in a list of big names that included Ericsson, CommScope, AT&T, LG Electronics, Nvidia, Amazon, Sony, Intel and Facebook.
“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,” said John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA, in a prepared statement. “The host city parties respect and understand this decision. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world.”
CommScope, which was planning several product launches at the event, canceled two days ago, also out of a sense of caution, considering that the coronavirus has killed more than 1,100 people and infected more than 45,000 people worldwide.
“At CommScope, the safety and well-being of our employees has always been a top priority. With the continued global threat of the Coronavirus, CommScope has made the decision to cancel our physical presence at Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona,” Kris Kozamchak, director, corporate communications, told AGL eDigest. “This is not a decision our executive team took lightly, and although the likelihood of contracting the virus is low, we will not risk the health of our employees, nor the business impact that would result if a quarantine were ordered.”
CommScope is currently exploring virtual trade show and meeting options to showcase its new portfolio. “We have a powerful portfolio and great news to share with our customers, so we want to ensure we keep up momentum and continue to drive important selling conversations,” she added.