5G and Beyond

MWC2020: AT&T, Cisco, Facebook and Sprint are latest to cancel

UPDATED 2:24 p.m. EST — The biggest single annual gathering of telecom companies and decision-makers is suffering the impact of the coronavirus, as more and more companies announce they are no longer attending Mobile World Congress 2020 in Barcelona, which is currently still due to open its doors on Monday, February 24.

By early Tuesday evening, European time, AT&T, Cisco, Facebook and Sprint had joined a number of other significant names, including Amazon, Amdocs, Ciena, Ericsson, Intel, LG Electronics, Mediatek, Nvidia and Viavi Solutions in pulling out of the event.

Below is an updated list of significant companies that have confirmed they have either decided to pull out of the show completely or to have scaled back their presence considerably.

The decisions of such companies are important as it will impact others: MWC is a show where a lot of business is arranged, discussed and concluded in person. If customers, potential customers, partners and more are not even attending, that will impact companies' thinking about whether they should travel to Barcelona, a move that currently appears to hold a greater risk of resulting in a quarantine period (either in Spain or back at base on return) as each day passes.

Here's the latest rundown of those who have pulled out:

Table 1: Companies canceling or scaling back at MWC 2020

Company Status Details
A10 Networks Withdrawal confirmed The network security vendor emailed Light Reading to confirm that it is pulling out of MWC Barcelona.
Accedian Withdrawal confirmed The network performance assurance vendor announced its withdrawal from MWC Barcelona via press release on February 10.
Amazon Withdrawal confirmed Web giant said it would no longer exhibit at or participate in MWC because of the value it placed "on the wellbeing and safety of our employees, customers, partners, and press and analyst community."
Amdocs Withdrawal confirmed OSS/BSS player withdrew saying: "In the face of the public health concern from the novel coronavirus, we are placing the highest priority on protecting the health of our employees, customers and partners."
AT&T Withdrawal confirmed US telecom giant said it had decided not to participate after careful discussions. "Unfortunately, the most responsible decision is to withdraw our participation from the event to safeguard our employees and customers," it said.
Ciena Withdrawal confirmed Optical equipment maker said it was canceling all plans to participate in MWC due to growing concerns about coronavirus.
Cisco Withdrawal confirmed US equipment maker said on February 11 that it had made the difficult decision to withdraw from MWC due to concern about coronavirus.
CommScope Withdrawal confirmed The network infrastructure company alluded in its statement to the "business impact that would result if a quarantine were ordered." It has canceled its attendance and said it will explore virtual trade show and meeting options instead.
Dali Wireless Withdrawal confirmed The wireless fronthaul vendor said, in a statement, that because "there is still much unknown regarding the 2019-nCoV, Dali does not feel comfortable sending its employees to a widely attended international event."
Dell'Oro Group Withdrawal confirmed Dell'Oro VP Stefan Pongratz confirmed via a comment on Twitter that the analyst house would not be attending MWC Barcelona.
Ericsson Withdrawal confirmed One of the event's largest exhibitors was also one of the first to withdraw, saying it could not ensure the health and safety of employees and customers.
Facebook Withdrawal confirmed Social media giant withdrew on February 11, stating: "Out of an abundance of caution, Facebook employees won’t be attending this year’s Mobile World Congress due to the evolving public health risks related to coronavirus."
F5 Networks Withdrawal confirmed A company spokesperson confirmed to Light Reading on February 10 that the applications infrastructure company will not be on site at MWC Barcelona.
Intel Withdrawal reported Chipmaker reported by industry sources to have pulled out entirely because of concern about the spread of coronavirus.
InterDigital Withdrawal confirmed The company announced late Monday that it won't be at MWC Barcelona, adding that "nothing is more important to us than the health and welfare of our employees."
Light Reading Withdrawal confirmed Light Reading will not be sending its editorial staff to MWC Barcelona. We'll be monitoring MWC-related developments remotely and covering the industry's most interesting people, capital and technology news.
LG Withdrawal confirmed South Korean consumer electronics firm was the first big vendor to back out last week.
Mediatek Withdrawal reported Mobile SoC giant has pulled out to preserve the health and safety of its staff.
NTT DoCoMo Exhibition withdrawal confirmed Japanese operator has canceled its exhibition but not said if this means no staff will be attending the event.
Nvidia Withdrawal confirmed Chipmaker withdrew over the weekend, saying the safety of staff, partners and customers was its paramount concern.
Panorama Software Withdrawal reported Reported by The Mobile Network to have said it will not be exhibiting at or participating in this year's show because of virus concerns.
Radwin Withdrawal confirmed Broadband wireless equipment specialist has canceled its participation, citing the health and safety of staff.
Sony Withdrawal confirmed Japanese electronics giant said safety and well-being were its priorities as it canceled its exhibition and participation.
Spirent Withdrawal confirmed Test company Spirent announced on February 11 that it had made the decision not to participate in this year's MWC out of concern about coronavirus risks.
Sprint Withdrawal confirmed US operator due to merge with T-Mobile said in a statement: "Our team will not be attending MWC due to concerns around the novel coronavirus."
Viavi Solutions Withdrawal confirmed A smaller vendor at the show, Viavi said it would have sent 50 people until it decided the risks were too great.
WWT Withdrawal confirmed St. Louis-based World Wide Technology confirmed to Light Reading via email that it has decided to withdraw from all MWC activities.
Sources: The companies, media reports, The Mobile Network's list, and Light Reading editors.

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— Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading. Additional reporting by Iain Morris.

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