Last year, Google and other tech companies, including Facebook, Nokia, NVIDIA, Sony, Oracle, Ericsson, and other exhibitors, announced that they would not join the annual Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2020 in Barcelona, Spain, due to the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak. Several companies held virtual events online instead of opting for a physical event. Hence, GSMA, organizer of MWC, canceled Mobile World Congress 2020. However, it was expected that things would get better and everything will be normal next year, but time has proved otherwise.
This year, Google has announced that it will not be participating in MWC 2021. The statement said that following COVID-19 travel restrictions, “Google has made the decision to not exhibit at Mobile World Congress this year.”
Here’s the complete statement:
“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.”
In February, GSMA, the organizer of Mobile World Congress, urged every attendee to submit a negative test report of COVID-19 within 72 hours of their arrival in Spain. The organizers insisted on holding the event, saying, “Our view is it would be great if the world was vaccinated, but we can’t rely on that in 2021.”
More than 100,000 attendees from around the globe join Mobile World Congress every year. But this year, it will be different, as John Hoffman, CEO of GSMA, told Mobile World Live,
“Barcelona will be a little bit different, it is the big stage. Covid requirements will decrease our capacity. We’re not going to have 110,000 people, with travel restrictions, testing capacity, and one-way traffic through the exhibition, there’s no way.”
Last year, GSMA canceled its MWC 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The decision was made after tech giants like Nokia, Amazon, Facebook, Ericsson, Vivo, Intel, and Google decided not to join the exhibitions. However, it seems that this year GSMA is keen to host MWC. Covid cases are rising around the globe again, and after tech giants like Google bailing out of the exhibition, we are yet to see GSMA’s final decision.