By Juliet Umeh
The annual telecommunications industry’s biggest gathering, Mobile World Congress
MWC 2021, originally scheduled for early March, will now be held from June 28-July 2021.
According to the organisers of the Congress, Global System for Mobile Communications, GSMA, the program was postponed to late June to observe hygiene precautions as corona virus spread around the world.
The event, which combines a glitzy trade show with a frenzy of executive networking, will be face to face but numbers attending will be down from the 110,000 delegates who usually converge in the Catalan capital.
Director General of the GSMA, Mats Granryd, said: “It’s going to be physical. It’s going to be face to face. But it’s going to have a bigger virtual component.
“Having 110,000-plus events is less interesting – getting the right people is more interesting,” he added.
He explained that the delay seeks to buy time to strengthen hygiene precautions. Granryd expressed hope that, by next summer, it will be possible to take quick COVID-19 tests while vaccines now under development may also be available.
The GSMA will also bring forward the Chinese edition of the Mobile World Congress, held in Shanghai, to late February in what amounts to a calendar swap with the main Barcelona event.