After Ericsson, Nokia, Sony and Oracle, Google is also cancelling the new version of the Mobile World Congress just before the summer.
In a statement, Google points to travel restrictions and protocols that prevent it from taking a stand at MWC this year. It emphasizes the collaboration with GSMA, the sector association that organizes MWC, and hopes to be present next year.
Google is yet another big name that cancels for the Mobile Congress. MWC announced in September that it would postpone its 2021 edition to the end of June. Last month, the organization reconfirmed that intention, with the nuance that it is aiming for 40,000-50,000 participants. That is a lot, but much less than the 110,000 visitors from 2019.
MWC does not require vaccination proof but wants people to be tested sufficiently. Those plans have already been criticized. Some fear that MWC could become a breeding ground for new infections. People who stay in Barcelona for a few days and then return to their home country.
Organizer GSMA has not yet made any adjustments or comment on the absence of the big names. Considering the substantial budgets associated with MWC, it seems plausible that the organizers aim for a physical event for as long as possible.
Because everyone involved in the organization, including the city of Barcelona and the local catering industry, benefits from the fair being able to continue. The fact that big names such as Ericsson, Nokia, and Google are cancelling indicates that the technology sector is not in the same line as the exhibition organization.
This was also the case last year. Almost every large organization indicated in January and February that it would not come to Barcelona due to the coronavirus’s advance. It was only cancelled in mid-February, two weeks before the event.