Mobile World Congress teams are planning to hold a physical event in June, but many companies have already announced that they will not be in Barcelona.

A growing list of absentees

Sony Mobile is the first smartphone maker to publicly state that it does not plan to attend the show: “Sony Mobile has made the decision not to attend MWC 2021A spokesperson for the company said in a statement.

Nokia has also said it will not be on site, but will participate in the event virtually. “The health of our employees, customers and partners is of paramount importance to usThe company said in a statement. “Given the international nature of the event and the fact that the global vaccine rollout is still in its early stages, we have made the decision to only participate in the virtual event.

They are joined by Ericsson, which was the first company to confirm that it will not be present this year. The Swedish telecommunications network giant, which is still one of the biggest exhibitors, announced on Tuesday that it will not attend MWC 2021: “In view of the continued impacts of Covid-19 and our primary consideration for our employees, their health and well-being, we have decided not to participate in MWC 2021Ericsson said in a statement.

The organizer respects this decision

The GSMA, the organizer of MWC, said in its own statement that it “respectEricsson’s decision to withdraw from the show and indicated that it plans to create a virtual platform to support businesses and journalists who cannot attend in person.

Sony, Nokia and Ericsson are probably not the only companies not attending the conference this year. Normally around 100,000 people attend MWC. Attendance should be much lower this year.

A virtual conference for those absent

We are aware that it will not be possible for everyone to attend MWC Barcelona 2021Said the GSMA. “This is why we have developed a virtual event platform that will allow everyone to enjoy the unique experience of MWC.

MWC brings together companies from all over the world, and many of them are using the week-long trade fair in Barcelona to showcase their latest smartphones and talk about advances in 5G and other wireless technologies.

This event is critical for the mobile industry for two main reasons: it’s where vendors bring attention to their new devices and it’s where companies make deals behind the scenes.

CNET.com article with CNETFrance