Barcelona to host Mobile World Congress until 2024
One year extension is compensation for the cancelation of this year's edition due to coronavirus
The yearly Mobile World Congress will take place in Barcelona until at least 2024 to compensate for the cancelation of this year's edition due to the coronavirus crisis.
The contract between trade show organizers Fira de Barcelona and the mobile industry body behind the congress, GSMA, was due to expire in 2023. The companies have not given any indication of what will happen to the world’s biggest mobile technology fair beyond 2024.
In January, organizers denied rumors of a move to Madrid, with GSMA CEO John Hoffmann insisting "we've been here [in Barcelona] since 2006, and we'll be here in the future."
The congress adds almost 500 million euros to the Catalan economy each year and generates over 14,000 jobs. Since the international mobile fair was first held in Barcelona in 2006, it is estimated that the event has brought into the city some 5.3 billion euros, and work for over 128,000 people.
The 2021 MWC will be held from March 1 to 4.
The 2020 edition of the Mobile World Congress, which was supposed to take place in the Gran Via and Monttjuïc congress venues between February 24 and 27, was canceled after dozens of companies pulled out due to concerns around coronavirus, but before any cases had been confirmed in Catalonia.
Organizers said the decision, which in hindsight looks prescient, was "not based on money, but health and safety."