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Covid nerves hit Oracle, Sony and Nokia over MWC 21 live

Paul Lipscombe
March 11, 2021

Ericsson was first exhibitor to drop out 

Nokia, Oracle and Sony have joined Ericsson in pulling out of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of June.

In a re-run of last-year’s panic the vendors cancelled their participation in the live event  due to health and safety concerns, despite the strict hygiene, testing and social-distancing intended to protect all visitors.

Both Sony and Nokia instead plan to support the event virtually, while cloud specialists Oracle have also pulled out.

This year’s event is due to take place in Barcelona between June 28 and July 1, with the GSMA outlining a full health and safety plan this week.

The event is due to be significantly scaled back from usual years, with 40,000 to 50,000 attendees expected, compared to the usual 100,000 plus.

Deja vu all over again?

However, since then Ericsson became the first high-profile name to withdraw from MWC, confirming this on Tuesday (March 9).

And yesterday (March 10), both Nokia and Sony confirmed its withdrawal from the event.

In a statement Nokia said: “After careful consideration, Nokia has decided not to have a physical presence at Mobile World Congress Barcelona 2021.

“The health of our employees, customers and partners is of paramount importance to us. Given the international nature of the event and with the global vaccine roll out still in its early phases, we have made the considered decision to instead participate in only the virtual event.”

Sony has also confirmed its absence from the event.

“As the world increasingly shifts towards digital and online opportunities to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Sony Mobile will communicate in ways that can deliver our exciting product news to a wider audience,” said a Sony statement.

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