February 12, 2020
The telecoms industry’s favourite news and analysis site had decided there’s no point in attending an event stripped of much of its purpose.
As we reported yesterday, the risk reward profile of Mobile World Congress 2020 has been deteriorating rapidly, such that concerns associated with the spread of the coronavirus infection outweigh the ever-decreasing prospect of meeting important industry figures. While at the time of writing no decision has been made to cancel the whole event, the Telecoms.com editorial team decided not to wait for the GSMA and/or Spanish authorities to act and take matters into our own hands.
Telecoms.com is far from alone in this respect. As expected, US companies have been leading the retreat from the event, presumably encouraged to do so by their legal departments. Among the latest American casualties are: AT&T, Cisco, Facebook and Sprint. Remaining US heavy-hitters yet to make an announcement include Google, Qualcomm and Verizon, and it could be that their support for smartphone launches such as the Samsung Galaxy S20 is giving them pause for thought.
As with everyone else that has pulled out we profoundly regret the need to do so. MWC isn’t just the commercial focal point of the year, but a social highlight for our industry too. It could be argued that the really important conversations happen outside of the event itself in the bars and restaurants around Barcelona and there’s one Tuesday night dinner we especially regret missing out on. Having said that our livers will be grateful to be spared the ordeal for one year at least.
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