The fate of this year’s MWC in Barcelona will be decided on Friday, according to Catalonian newspaper, El Nacional. The newspaper reports that the GSMA, the mobile network operator trade body that organises the event, will meet on Friday to discuss whether to cancel the event in the wake of the coronavirus, and the withdrawals from several large companies who were due to take part.
Companies who have withdrawn from the show to date include Ericsson, Amazon, Sony, LG, NTT DoCoMo, Nvidia, Amdocs, Intel, Vivo, Umidigi, Gigaset, Ulafone Mobile and AppsFlyer. Between them, the companies would have occupied around 10 per cent of the total exhibition space at the event.
According to the report, five operators – Telefonica, Vodafone, BT, Orange and Deutsche Telekom – are considering withdrawing from the event. The companies have formed a crisis committee and will make a joint decision in the next 24 hours.
If the event is cancelled, it would of course represent a major blow to the GSMA, the companies due to attend, and the city of Barcelona itself. El Nacional estimates that last year’s event brought in revenues of €470m for the city.
Since this story was posted, Light Reading has reported that both Facebook and Sprint have also confirmed they will not be attending MWC Barcelona 2020.