Despite concerns about COVID-19, Mobile World Congress is pushing ahead with plans to hold a physical event this year. If it does end up taking place as planned, then MWC 2021 will have less industry presence compared to previous years, as a number of big companies have dropped out, including Google.
Google announced today that it will not be participating in Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this year. As you may already expect, this decision is brought on by restrictions and protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Google will be looking to participate again in 2022, however, as the world is slowly recovering thanks to the rollout of vaccinations:
“Following our current COVID-19 travel restrictions and protocols, Google has made the decision to not exhibit at Mobile World Congress this year. We will continue to collaborate closely with GSMA and support our partners through virtual opportunities. We look forward to this year’s activities and seeing you in Barcelona in 2022.”
The organisers behind MWC (GSMA) are currently planning to host the event between the 28th of June and the 1st of July. As reported by The Verge, the GSMA is requiring that attendees wear masks, use hand sanitiser stations and show a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, but there is still a lot of concern that this event will cause a spike in the spread of the coronavirus.
Aside from Google, we've also seen Nokia, Ericsson, Sony and Oracle have also dropped out from this year's event, which may cause the GSMA to reconsider its plans.
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KitGuru Says: What do you all think about the GSMA's decision to hold MWC as a physical event this year?