London: Global telecom industry body GSM Association on Thursday said it has decided to cancel the 2020 edition of the sector's largest event Mobile World Congress due to health safety concerns around novel coronavirus outbreak.
The industry body has been organizing the event annually since 2006 in Barcelona, Spain, where governments, ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders across the broader ecosystem discuss developments in the technology sector with telecom as a common thread.
"With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has canceled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event," the industry body said in a statement.
Some of the sponsors and leading exhibitors including those companies which are on the board of GSMA pulled out of the event due to threat from novel coronavirus. These companies include Vodafone, Cisco, LG, Vivo, NTT Docomo, Sony, Amazon, Facebook, Mediatek, Intel, Nvidia, etc.
"The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions. Our sympathies at this time are with those affected in China, and all around the world," the association said.