• Telecoms conference and exhibition cancelled over coronavirus
  • Several big telcos had withdrawn from Barcelona show
  • GSMA says it was becoming “impossible” to continue with MWC

The GSMA has cancelled tech expo Mobile World Congress amid fears about the coronavirus.

Many high-profile exhibitors and sponsors, including the likes of Ericsson, Facebook, Sony, BT and LG had withdrawn from the show citing concerns about the health and wellbeing of staff members. 

The telecoms showcase - which was due to take place in Barcelona from February 24 - had become “impossible” to run according to a statement from mobile industry organisation the GSMA.

The event is a key conference in the tech sector’s calendar, attracting around 110,000 attendees in 2019.

The decision to cancel followed a GSMA board meeting today, in which board members - made up of executives from some of the world’s biggest telecoms companies - opted against continuing with the show.

In a press statement, GSMA CEO John Hoffman explained: ”With due regard to the safe and healthy environment in Barcelona and the host country today, the GSMA has cancelled 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.”