Nokia, VEON and BT quit MWC, odds shorten on event’s cancellation
The odds have shortened on a cancellation of this year’s Mobile World Congress after influential vendor Nokia and major network operators VEON and BT today announced their withdrawal from the event because of mounting concern about the spread of the coronavirus disease, joining numerous other high-profile exhibitors and attendees in pulling out.
Nokia’s cancellation leaves MWC without one of its very largest exhibitors and – following Ericsson’s earlier withdrawal – means the show will be missing two of the “big three” mobile kit vendors, with only China’s Huawei still planning to attend.
The Finnish company’s decision, announced a week and a half before the event is due to begin, will increase the pressure on the GSM Association, the event organizer, to cancel this year’s show. The GSMA, which had not responded to a request for comment on Nokia’s decision at the time of publication, is reportedly set to hold a board-level meeting on Friday at which a final decision will be made on whether to cancel or postpone this year’s event.
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