This year’s MWC in Barcelona, due to start Monday week, 24 February, will go ahead as planned, albeit without the presence of the 20+ exhibitors who have pulled out, Vodafone being the latest to do so.
The news comes after the GSMA Council held an emergency meeting, originally planned for Friday, and has been reported by Spanish newspaper, La Vanguardia, quoting as its source the Spanish news agency, Efe. It says that GSMA sources have stated that the organization continues to closely monitor the evolution of the virus and that it will maintain regular contacts with the global and Spanish health authorities, as well as experts, to ensure the welfare of the attendees.
A report earlier today in Wired suggested that the GSMA was keen to cancel the event, and was pleading with the Spanish government to declare a health emergency so that it can claim back a hefty cancellation bill on its insurance. Without any such declaration, it seems, the GSMA is reluctant to call the show off.
The GSMA has yet to issue a statement following the meeting, and while the news may reassure the remaining exhibitors and delegates planning to attend, there’s every chance this will not be the end of the story.