The number of companies that have decided to withdraw their presence at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 being held on February 24-27 in Spain is growing.
Companies such as Japan’s telecoms operator NTT Docomo, Japan’s Sony Corp, US-based Amazon Web Services (AWS), South Korea’s LG Electronics, Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson, U.S. chipmaker Nvidia, US-based Commscope, test and measurement firm Viavi Solutions, etc. have said they will not attend this year’s event.
Huawei, Nokia and ZTE have informed that they will pull not out of the telecoms conference in Barcelona this month because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Mobile World Congress (MWC) last year attracted more than 100,000 visitors and upwards of 2,400 exhibitors.
The conference ranks as the telecom industry’s biggest gathering, with companies spending millions on stands and hospitality to fill their order books for the year ahead.
Sources close to GSMA, the conference organiser, told Reuters that if participants decide to cancel, they would have to bear the cost. The GSMA would only be liable if it calls off the whole conference.
“As we place the utmost importance on the safety and wellbeing of our customers, partners, media and employees, we have taken the difficult decision to withdraw from exhibiting and participating at MWC 2020,” Sony said in a statement.
NTT said in a statement that it had withdrawn after taking into consideration the safety of its customer, partners and staff.
CommScope in a statement said it made the decision to cancel its physical presence at Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona. “The team is currently exploring virtual trade show and meeting options to showcase the new CommScope portfolio.”
Amdocs said it will not attend the GSMA’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 in Barcelona because it is prioritizing the health and safety of its employees, customers and partners.
Amdocs aims to hold business meetings and workshops at our customers’ offices to showcase the amdocsONE portfolio, including new 5G, cloud, monetization and media solutions, said Shuky Sheffer, president and chief executive officer, Amdocs.
GSMA said on Sunday that no-one from China’s Hubei province, where the coronavirus outbreak began, would be allowed to attend, while visitors from China must prove they have been outside the country for at least two weeks prior to the event.
These measures add to earlier actions aimed at preventing the spread of the virus across the conference’s three main venues, including changing microphones between speakers and advising all attendees not to shake hands.
In 2019, some 6 percent of Mobile World Congress attendees were from China, GSMA’s post-congress report showed. Most were from Europe, around 64 percent, as were about 45 percent of the exhibitors.
China’s Huawei and ZTE have said they will attend, ordering China-based staff to self-isolate ahead of MWC and drafting in European staff to cover for those not able to attend from China.
The GSMA, an industry association representing more than 750 operators and 400 companies in the mobile business, estimates that the MWC boosted the Barcelona economy by around 470 million euros ($515 million) last year.