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GSMA postpones MWC Barcelona from March to June 2021

GSMA has announced a rescheduling of next year’s Mobile World Congress events. MWC Barcelona which is usually held in the first quarter of the year is now postponed by approximately 4 months.

According to the official statement, MWC 21 Barcelona is now moved to 28th June to 1st July instead of its original schedule of 1st to 4th March 2021. This is to allow GSMA to contend with external circumstances related to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, MWC Shanghai which is usually held in June now is brought forward to 23rd to 25th February 2021. According to GSMA, they will continue to work closely with the Host City parties and the decision to reschedule the MWC21 Barcelona was made after planning and consultation with all major stakeholders.

GSMA Director General Mats Granryd said: “With a continuously changing global outlook and following consultation with our board and membership and our top exhibitors, we have taken the careful decision to reschedule MWC21 Shanghai in February, and MWC21 Barcelona in June. The health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees, staff and the people of Barcelona are of paramount importance.”

GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman said: “We have been overwhelmed by the support of all our partners and clients who remain dedicated to ensuring MWC21 Barcelona is a success. MWC is more than just an event. It’s an experience that brings the whole industry together and provides a platform to unlock the power of connectivity so that people, industry and society thrive.”

GSMA also added the the rescheduling respects the global circumstances surrounding COVID-19. This year’s MWC 2020 was one of the first casualties of the pandemic after it was cancelled just weeks before the event due to health concerns and after several exhibitors have pulled out. Due to the cancellation, most tech announcements have shifted online through live stream events.

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At the time of writing, most borders including Malaysia remain closed for international travel which makes international-scale events not possible. Events such as MWC could only take place once the pandemic situation is under control. As of today, there are over 31 million cases and almost 1 million deaths due to COVID-19 worldwide.

Spain currently has over 670,000 cases and it appears to be encountering a second wave of infections as it records 5-digit number of new cases daily in the past couple of days. Meanwhile, China appears to have the situation under control with 85,297 cases and it has been recording not more than double-digit new cases daily.

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Alexander Wong