The same scenario like last year regarding MWC starting appearing. In 2020, GSMA planned to organize the annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in late February, but just weeks before the event, coronavirus broke out and turned into a pandemic.
Before the MWC2020 was officially cancelled, companies started cancelling their attendance one by one, which lead, together with legitimate health concerns, to the cancellation of physical MWC 2020, with some events moved online. Some vendors like Huawei still decided to hold their own briefings in Barcelona, but with a smaller audience.
This year’s MWC 2021 in Barcelona is planned for June, but some exhibitors already started cancelling their physical presence. One of them is Nokia that informed the press that the company won’t be on the ground in Barcelona, but will do online events.
“The health of our employees, customers and partners is of paramount importance to us. Given the international nature of the event and with the global vaccine roll out still in its early phases, we have made the considered decision to instead participate in only the virtual event,” says the statement from Nokia.
Alongside Nokia, companies like Sony, Ericsson, Oracle, and Facebook also cancelled their offline presence. GSMA expects around 50,000 visitors at MWC 2021, but it remains to be seen if the event will take place at all.
The presence of Nokia smartphone brand licensee at MWC 2021 is still unknown. The company hasn’t come forward with plans and I didn’t manage to find them as an exhibitor at GSMA’s official MWC floorplan site.