Although the continual march of a global pandemic has more or less forced the hand of exhibitors and attendees globally, the GSMA is adamant that Mobile World Congress or MWC will take place next year — but now with a late-June 2021 start date.

MWC 2020 was one of the first true casualties in the 2020 event calendar, with so much investment and the financial impetus given to the mobile-focused summit, it was effectively canceled despite days of back-and-forth between the local Catalonian authorities, exhibitors, and the GSMA itself.

Being one of the telecoms industry’s largest annual gatherings, it was a big hole in the calendar. However, MWC 2021 has been confirmed as postponed or delayed until late-June 2021. The event will now take place from June 28-July 1 in an attempt to make it safe despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It was always bold of the GSMA to even consider a March 2021 event, so this delay comes as no real surprise.

While this is interesting news, as firms have shifted to holding online live-streamed launch events in favor of flashy demos at events such as Mobile World Congress, it will be interesting to see just how the 2021 event fares.

Moving MWC 21 Barcelona, initially scheduled for the first week of March 2021, allows the GSMA to contend with external circumstances related to Covid-19.

The GSMA is committed and investing so that MWC21 Barcelona can go ahead safely and offer the unique, unmissable experience that has made it the world’s most important mobile ecosystem convening platform. MWC21 Barcelona will also have virtual elements to complement the overwhelming demand to convene physically.

Just how those firms that canceled attendance at MWC 2020 plan to attend — or not attend — is not yet known. Earlier this year Amazon, Ericsson, Intel, LG, MediaTek, Nvidia, Sony, Vivo, Facebook, AT&T, Telus, and Nokia among others chose not to attend regardless of whether the event went ahead. Of course, MWC 2021 will still prove to be a massive draw if it does indeed go ahead in late June next year.

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