Ericsson pulls the plug on MWC Barcelona again
Swedish equipment giant Ericsson dealt a massive blow to this year’s delayed Mobile World Congress late Monday when it said it had decided to withdraw entirely from the event, citing continued health and safety concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The announcement deprives the Barcelona-based event of one of its largest exhibitors and could spark fears of the same domino effect that happened in 2020, when it became the first big network equipment vendor to cancel its participation at a show that was eventually aborted.
In an email sent directly to Light Reading, the company said: “In view of the continuing impacts from Covid-19 and our primary consideration towards our people, their health and well-being, we have decided not to participate in MWC 2021.”
“The decision, whilst regrettable, reflects our precautionary approach to managing the pandemic from a people and travel perspective whilst vaccination programs are rolled out globally,” it continued. “We look forward to the opportunity to rejoin future events and continue to work closely with the GSMA and industry partners.”
The update came just hours after the GSM Association, the show’s organizer, had published details of its health and safety plans for this year’s event, delayed from February to June, in a move designed to reassure prospective attendees.
The show usually attracts more than 100,000 visitors and in years past has been regarded as a must-attend event for executives in the mobile phone industry. Visitor numbers have soared from about 50,000 in 2006.
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