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Virus Fallout Leaves Fate of Top Mobile Industry Event on Edge

  • Organizer held meeting Wednesday to consider cancellation
  • Discussions followed wave of withdrawals from industry leaders
Attendees at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb. 28, 2019.

Attendees at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Feb. 28, 2019.

Photographer: Pau Barrena/AFP via Getty Images

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After some of the biggest telecom companies withdrew from the wireless industry’s top annual event because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, MWC Barcelona 2020 is all but dead.

Members of the organizer, the GSMA, headed into a meeting on Wednesday expecting to announce a decision to cancel the conference in the afternoon, according to people familiar with the matter. However, the group based in London has been unable to arrive quickly at a conclusion on what to do.