(Reuters) – The Mobile World Congress (MWC), the telecoms industry’s biggest annual gathering, will be held in Barcelona until 2024, extending its current contract by one year, the GSMA association that hosts the congress said on Wednesday.
“By extending through 2024, we are demonstrating our commitment to our ecosystem as well as the host city parties,” GSMA CEO John Hoffman said in a statement. “We are pleased to report that we have had tremendous support and early commitment with many exhibitors for future editions.”
The MWC, which draws more than 100,000 people to Barcelona, became one of the first business casualties of the coronavirus pandemic when this year’s event was cancelled in February despite assurances from local and national health officials that it would have been safe to hold it.
The one-year extension is related to the 2020 gathering’s cancellation and is unrelated to potential negotiations on a new contract for the MWC to be held in the Spanish city beyond 2024, a Catalan regional government source told Reuters.
After the cancellation, the Catalan regional government’s top economic official, Pere Aragones, called for a stronger alliance between the GSMA and the region, adding that a way to do it would be for the organisers to extend the MWC presence in Barcelona beyond 2023, when the contract ended.
Related: GSMA announces packages for cancelled MWC attendees, exhibitors.
(Reporting by Joan Faus and Jessica Jones; Editing by David Evans)