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Sony pulls out of MWC 2022

GSMA has branded the decision as “disappointing”

Sony has pulled out of next month’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) conference for the third year in a row, in a decision that has been branded as “disappointing” by the organisers.

Scheduled to take place from 28 February to 3 March 2022, the annual event is set to return to Barcelona under the theme of “Connectivity Unleashed”.

Combining in-person and virtual attendance, MWC 2022 will host more than 1,500 exhibitors, including AWS, Lenovo, Nvidia, Samsung, and Intel.

Sony is reportedly the first exhibitor to pull out of next month’s event, with organiser GSMA telling IT Pro that it is “surprised” by the decision. Although no official reason for the cancellation has been given, it's likely a result of ongoing concerns over safety amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Whilst this is disappointing, we respect that strategic business decisions by the organisation in 2020 influenced the change and wish them all the best,” it added.

This is the third year in a row that Sony has cancelled its MWC attendance, with GSMA noting that the company “has not been an exhibitor at the event since 2019”.

“Our focus at the GSMA remains producing an unmissable event for all of those attending. We do this with overwhelming support from the industry, Spain, Catalonia, Barcelona and the Host City Parties. We have proven our ability to deliver a safe environment with an industry-leading health and safety plan, Committed Community, and three successful events in 2021,” GSMA told IT Pro.

Sony wasn’t immediately available for comment.

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MWC Barcelona has been plagued with exhibitor cancellations since the start of the pandemic, which coincided with its cancelled 2020 event that was supposed to take place between 24 and 27 February.

However, GSMA is positive that this year’s conference will go ahead as planned, with attendees, staff, exhibitors, and visitors required to either undergo Covid-19 testing, or submit proof of vaccination or a valid certificate of recovery. Similarly to last year's event, all participants will also be required to wear a FFP2 (Filtering Facepiece Respirators) mask inside the Fira Gran Via conference centre, which is the venue for MWC. GSMA has also warned that surgical masks and cloth face masks will not be accepted.

Last year, Sony cancelled its attendance just hours after Ericsson officially pulled out of the Barcelona tech conference.

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