MWC2020: The show won't go on

The GSMA, organizer of the annual Mobile World Congress, has canceled this year's Barcelona show because of 'the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak.'

Phil Harvey, Editor-in-Chief

February 12, 2020

1 Min Read
MWC2020: The show won't go on

Following dozens of cancellations from the largest companies in the telecom industry, the GSM Association announced today it has canceled this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

"With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event," said John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA Ltd. (the branch of the organization that runs its events), in a statement.

The dominos started to fall even before February 7, when Ericsson, one of the show's largest exhibitors and one of the world's largest telecom gear suppliers, pulled out of MWC Barcelona due to coronavirus concerns. At that point, the GSMA had already been taking precautions in anticipation of worried delegates. On February 5, Light Reading asked the question that hung in the air: How Badly Will Coronavirus Hurt MWC?

Here's how the story progressed from there:

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Phil Harvey, US Bureau Chief, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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