The GSMA scheduled the world’s biggest annual mobile tech show, MWC Barcelona, to take place from 28 June to 1 July 2021, with MWC Shanghai slotted in for 23 February to 25 February 2021.

In a statement, the industry association explained it moved the events due to the ongoing global Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. MWC21 Barcelona was initially planned for the first week of March and while it will remain a predominantly in-person event, GSMA said it will “have virtual elements to complement the overwhelming demand to convene physically”.

At a press conference in Barcelona today, GSMA Ltd CEO John Hoffman said 78 per cent of the 100 largest MWC exhibitors including Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia have already confirmed participation at MWC21 Barcelona, and he hopes the figure will eventually exceed 80 per cent.

Earlier this year, MWC20 Barcelona became the first major tech event to be affected by the pandemic, with the GSMA cancelling the show less than two weeks before it was due to begin.

It subesequently struck a deal to hold MWC in Barcelona until 2024, extending a contract with city partners by a year.

The GSMA stated dates for MWC LA are unchanged, with the event scheduled for 26 October to 28 October 2021.