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Coronavirus
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BARCELONA: The Mobile World Congress, the telecom industry's biggest annual gathering, will draw over 30,000 people at a smaller edition in Barcelona next month after the pandemic derailed last year's event, organisers said Thursday.

The 2020 edition of the event - which is usually held in February - was called off at the last minute after dozens of the world's biggest technology and telecoms firm pulled out over fears of the spread of the coronavirus. The GSMA industry association that hosts the congress scheduled it this year from June 28 to July 1, with attendance limited to 50,000 compared with a normal attendance of around 100,000.

This year's congress will include a mixture of in-person and online events.

"There is no doubt that Mobile World Congress 2021 is going to look a little different," the executive director of the GSMA, John Hoffman, told a news conference. Organisers said there would be 600 speakers across the week, with 70 percent attending in-person. Several major firms such as Samsung, Amazon, Cisco and Ericsson have pulled out from attending in person citing virus concerns, although some will join the event online.

Chinese telecoms giant Huawei will be the biggest firm with a physical presence at the show.

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