Ericsson has withdrawn from the Mobile World Congress that will take place this year in Barcelona due to security concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Organizers, GSMA, delayed the event to June in the hope that this would allow up to 50,000 people to attend (roughly half the usual number of visitors) after last year’s cancellation.
A few days ago, the GSMA announced that to minimize the risk of contagion, there will be more outdoor events, non-contact interactions and temperature controls around the venue. Attendees must also submit a negative test every 72 hours, while certain events will take place online to encourage virtual participants.
However, Ericsson has deemed the risks too great.
In view of the ongoing impacts of Covid-19 and our primary consideration for our people, their health and well-being, we have decided not to participate in MWC 2021.
The decision, while regrettable, reflects our precautionary approach to managing the pandemic from the perspective of people and travel as vaccination programs roll out globally. We look forward to the opportunity to re-participate in future events and continue to work closely with the GSMA and industry partners.
The news is a new headache for the GSMA, as the Swedish telecommunications company was the first major exhibitor to pull out last year, prompting others to follow.
The MWC is an important source of income for the GSMA, which was willing to organize the 2020 event until its cancellation just fifteen days before its celebration.