There will not be Mobile World Congress (MWC) within two weeks. The GSMA, organizer of the room, has held several emergency meetings this Wednesday in a frantic and confusing day in Barcelona –To the second they have attended all the institutions involved– to make the complicated decision of lay off the congress scheduled from February 24 to 27 before the constant announcements on the part of the companies of not attending the appointment for fear of coronavirus
The initial forecast was to make a decision on Friday, at the GSMA ordinary general council that is usually held a few days before the congress, but the escalation of casualties has led to the meeting being urgently advanced. The cancellations of the German Deutsche Telekom and from the French Orange, announced this morning, have been the straw that has filled the glass as they are two giants with a special weight among the 26 companies that are part of the board of directors of the GSMA, the employer of the sector and organizer of the fair. NTT Docomo, which is also in that management group, has already announced its cancellation over the weekend.
In the meeting led by the CEO of the GSMA, John hoffman, the representatives of the different companies have participated through videoconferencing. The final decision has been decided by the four major European operators: Vodafone, BT, Orange Y Telefonica.
The position of these last two companies has been especially relevant. Orange because its CEO is the current president of the GSMA and Telefónica because he plays the role of hostess in the room.
All the companies that have canceled their presence in the congress have defended that they put ahead the health of their employees, collaborators and clients. The list of casualties was initiated by LG last Wednesday and since then it has been a constant bleeding: Ericsson, Sony, Cisco, Facebook, Nokia, Rakuten …
They have not been convinced of the measures announced by the organizers, which have been hardening during the last days and which include the prohibition of access to those who have been in China during the last 14 days, the installation of points with soap disinfectant and the recommendation not to shake hands among congressmen.