Nokia and BT are the latest high-profile names to drop out of the Mobile World Congress show in Barcelona next week.
In a statement Nokia said: “We have been carefully monitoring the situation following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, with the goal of making a fact-based decision related to our attendance at Mobile World Congress in 2020.
While the health and safety of our employees is our absolute priority, we also recognise that we have a responsibility to the industry and our customers. In view of this, we have taken the necessary time to evaluate a fast-moving situation, engage with the GSMA and other stakeholders, regularly consult external experts and authorities, and plan to manage risks based on a wide range of scenarios.
The conclusion of that process is that we believe the prudent decision is to cancel our participation at Mobile World Congress. We want to express our thanks to the GSMA, the governments of China and Spain as well as Catalonia’s Generalitat, and many others who have worked tirelessly to address the challenges resulting from the novel coronavirus, and they have our full support as they move forward.”
Rather than meeting customers and stakeholders in Barcelona, Nokia added plans to go directly to customers with a series of ‘Nokia Live’ events aimed at showcasing the demos and launches scheduled for MWC.
Meanwhile, BT confirmed it had also decided not to have a presence at the show following “careful discussions and planning”.
BT and Nokia join the likes of Sony, Amazon, ZTE and Ericsson in dropping out of the event.