Companies from all corners of the telecoms ecosystem will be having emergency meetings over the next few days to decide whether or not to pull out of the big show of the year.
We don’t have any more confirmed cancellations but the telecoms grapevine tells us that a lot of companies are in the process of doing risk assessments regarding the threat posed by the coronavirus outbreak. While some may choose to provide updates over the weekend, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a flood of announcements on Monday.
The decision by Ericsson to cancel its entire presence at the event will have spurred the rest of the industry into action, which may otherwise have left the decision to the last minute. Even if companies disagree with Ericsson’s assessment of the situation, they will be under pressure to explain why. They will also presumably be having earnest conversations with their insurers and legal departments.
Meanwhile the GSMA has responded to Ericsson’s decision by stressing its commitment to the event. “Ericsson’s cancellation will have some impact on our presence at this time and will potentially have further impact,” said the GSMA press release. “The GSMA continues to monitor and assess the potential impact of the coronavirus on MWC Barcelona 2020 as the health and safety of our exhibitors, attendees and staff are of paramount importance. MWC Barcelona 24-27 February 2020, will proceed as planned.”
Let’s see if they’re still saying that on Monday.