GSMA Cancels the Mobile World Conference 2020 (MCW)

Friday, 14 Feb, 2020

Mobile World Congress, a major smartphone trade show event held each year in Barcelona, Spain, has been canceled in 2020 due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The event was already in shambles as Facebook, Sprint, Cisco, AT&T, BT, Nokia, Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom all they were pulling out of the event just today. The GSM Association (GSMA) cited health and safety concerns, travel concerns and other circumstances for the cancellation of MWC Barcelona 2020.

The GSMA said host cities and partners respected and understood their decision, adding that they "will continue to work in unison, quot; to organize next year's event".

"Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world", he wrote.

Mobile World Congress, the wireless trade's annual showcase, usually attracts 100,000 representatives from technology firms, carriers, and governments to Barcelona, Spain. GSMA is the mobile industry organization that runs MWC. "While the GSMA confirm some large exhibitors have decided not to come to the show this year with others still contemplating next steps, we remain more than 2,800 exhibitors strong", GSMA said in a February 9 announcement. The ongoing coronavirus outbreak has forced organizer GSMA to pull the plug on the tech show, which was scheduled to be held February 24 to 27.

MWC is typically a launching ground for new gadgets and where companies often announce new smartphones and other tech. At the time of this writing, more than 1,000 people have died.

According to a report by El País, the MWC generates around 14,000 temporary jobs in Barcelona and generates Euro 492 million (approximately Rs. 3,884 million rupees) for the city. Even with MWC taking precautions such as banning attendees from the province where the coronavirus originated, it has still done little to stop the influx of cancellations. The event gives a big income boost to the Barcelona economy in the region of about half a billion Euros - particularly welcomed by the hospitality industry. Fear is far more contagious than any virus and has the potential to be genuinely damaging.