GSMA says coronavirus won’t stop its plans for MWC 2020

Mobile World Congress is the biggest telecommunications event on the tech calendar,  taking place in Barcelona in late February every year. 2020 is no different, with this year’s event happening from 24th to 27th February. As is happening in many other parts of the world, however, the coronavirus is placing some plans under stress.

For instance, one of the event’s larger commercial exhibitors, LG, has confirmed that it will not be participating at MWC 2020 and has cancelled its plans.

“LG Electronics is closely monitoring the situation related to the novel coronavirus outbreak, which was recently declared a global emergency by the World Health Organization as the virus continues to spread outside China. With the safety of its employees, partners and customers foremost in mind, LG has decided to withdraw from exhibiting and participating in MWC 2020 later this month in Barcelona, Spain,” the firm explained in a statement.

Another high-profile exhibitor, ZTE, was mistakenly reported as also cancelling its MWC 2020 plans, but at the time of writing the company has confirmed that it will indeed be in attendance in Barcelona.

Naturally, then, there have been several queries as to the status of the event, and whether other firms will be pulling out, but organiser GSMA has been quick to address any fears or concerns.

“The GSMA is building on its existing plans to protect the health of our attendees, clients, and staff at MWC Barcelona. GSMA colleagues around the world are taking strong measures to contain and lessen any further spread of the virus,” the firm said in a statement earlier today.

“These measures include adhering to advice from the World Health Organisation and other health authorities, respecting travel restrictions where they exist, arriving early in Spain to allow time for self-quarantine, and ensuring access to masks,” it adds.

At this stage it appears MWC 2020 will continue as planned, as it would take a mass exodus of exhibitors to call the Congress off rather than just a few.

Fortunately, that means readers can still look forward to the usual spate of tech news coming from the event, so keep a lookout for that later this month.


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