12.5 C
New York
Sunday, October 4, 2020
Home News MWC 2020 is dead, so what happens now?

MWC 2020 is dead, so what happens now?

mwc-flags.jpg?itok=_wnngrXz

What we can expect for this year, and the future, of the trade show.

On February 12, roughly one week before most press were set to leave for Barcelona, the GSMA (the industry organization that runs the show) chose to cancel the MWC 2020 trade show over continued concerns with the spread of COVID-19 (aka Coronavirus).

The news hit particularly hard because MWC had solidified itself as the mobile show for the world, and in most ways has become more important than CES earlier in the year. So with the show officially called off, what can we expect in the next few weeks, and for MWC 2021?

Why did they choose to cancel MWC 2020?

mwc-2020-statement.png?itok=ct1L62bZ

The GSMA said it would be “impossible” for the show to go on with the steady increase in concern over the COVID-19 virus spreading from region to region, particularly considering the historically heavy influence of Chinese companies at the show. Originally the GSMA had set guidelines for who could and could not attend the show, and followed the generally recognized precaution of having a 14-day quarantine for people coming from China, but that eventually gave way to a full cancellation.

While it’s true COVID-19 is a concern, the real problem was dozens of high-profile companies pulling out.

While it’s true the COVID-19 virus is top-of-mind for many people and it isn’t fully understood just how widespread it is, the real issue that led to the cancellation was the rapidly deteriorating attendance. Dozens of the largest companies set to attend the show had already pulled out within the week prior, and many others had dramatically scaled back their activities, cancelling their press conferences. Press outlets had started to follow suit as a result.

With the anchor tenants of the show already removed or reduced to a skeleton crew, the GSMA’s hand was effectively forced. Continuing on under these circumstances, with perhaps half or less of the attendance originally expected, would in itself have been quite a disaster for the show.

What about the phones that were going to launch?

nokia-mwc-4.jpg?itok=qIKZBbUW

Though big players like Samsung choose to launch products on their own accord, big trade shows like MWC are a great platform for smaller companies — or big companies with smaller-impact products— to launch because of the high concentration of journalists and partners already in attendance. MWC 2020 was expected to bring product announcements from Motorola, HMD Global (Nokia), Sony, LG, TCL, Xiaomi, Honor, Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo, ZTE and more.

Each company will inevitably find a new approach to launching their products — it just won’t be as impactful.

Each company will inevitably find a new approach to launching these products. Most are not going to be big enough to warrant their own separate events — which is why they were at MWC in the first place — and will likely be replaced by a rollout of post-launch marketing materials that were already planned. It’s not ideal, but there’s already so much in motion with these launches that it’s cost-prohibitive to change anything else. In some cases, this strategy will actually delay their launches, as they shift their resources into a new strategy.

In either case, we will all have to wait a bit longer for true hands-on time with this round of devices as companies shift their strategies to ship out products to reviewers that would have otherwise seen them at the show. This early hands-on time usually satiates our desire to learn about the new products, so it may feel like a “delay” to the launch when in reality things are moving according to the usual time frame.

What business will be affected most?

verizon-sign-storefront.jpg?itok=XsYSx2G

The behind-the-scenes business and enterprise functions may feel the brunt of the cancellation.

For as much as we like to focus on the consumer-facing phone, tablet and computer announcements, MWC is a massive show for the network, carrier and chipset side of the industry. The GSMA represents all parts of the wireless industry, all the way down to infrastructure providers — and some of the companies with the biggest presences at MWC are on this side of things.

Between the keynotes, panels, meetings and business partner gatherings, a majority of what’s happening around MWC relates to the network and carrier business. It can easily be said that MWC 2020 being canceled hurts the business and enterprise side of the mobile industry much more than the consumer side. Yes they’ll be able to take their meetings and make their business deals elsewhere, but there’s a reason why MWC had such a draw — it was a great place to get everything done at once.

Is anything still happening in Barcelona this year?

mwc2016-fira-barcelona-low.jpg?itok=tFYT

Officially, no. Unofficially … kind of. So many major companies had already removed themselves from MWC that the city was already going to be a bit of a ghost town next week. Now, it’s really going to be empty. The last few companies that were still holding onto their press conferences have given up now that the show has been officially cancelled, and that means few companies will be left with any sort of representatives at the show.

Even with most people — on all sides of the show — having booked flights and hotels months ago, it just isn’t worth going to Barcelona at this point. It’s a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg problem as well: journalists won’t attend if there aren’t lots of companies confirmed to be there as well, and companies don’t want to re-commit people to flights and accommodations if there’s no coverage to be had. And so, just about everyone has pulled out.

You’ll likely see that some people are still making the flights out to Spain — I mean, there’s still plenty of sangria and jamón to be had — but there won’t be any sort of official press conferences or notable announcements to be gained from it, unfortunately.

Will MWC come back in 2021?

mwc-show-floor.jpg?itok=5Meh8CYT

Plenty of people have speculated and jumped to conclusions as to what MWC 2020’s cancellation means for the future of the show in general. Some have said that the money lost, plus the lost opportunities for revenue through the show, and perhaps more importantly the lost goodwill with the city of Barcelona, could lead the GSMA to drastically change MWC going forward.

John Hoffman, CEO of the GSMA, made it as clear as can be in his official statement that MWC 2021 will be happening:

The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions.

More realistically, the GSMA will take this opportunity to put new safeguards in place in case something of this sort were to ever happen again. Up to this point, the GSMA and the city of Barcelona were both generally happy with the success of MWC, and it’s unlikely that this cancellation — which was generally out of the control of the GSMA — would lead to severing that partnership.

This is a black mark on the show, for sure, but I feel as though everyone understands that this is an extenuating circumstance and not the fault of the GSMA in any way. And as of last year, MWC was still as strong as ever. I would fully expect MWC to be back in Barcelona in 2021, albeit with some precautions put in place from the GSMA, companies and attendees alike.

Latest

Enjoy over 5,000 ad-free movies with 12 Months of FlixFling for $59.99

The movie streaming business is dominated by a few big names. As a result, the same blockbusters come around over

Make any Amazon Echo more kid-friendly with one setting

The Amazon Echo Dot Kids Edition is a nifty little bundle, but did you know that you can turn any

Tello Buyer’s Guide (October 2020)

Just about anyone you’d ask is familiar with the top-tier wireless service providers in Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. What about lesser known, or newer brands?Let’s take a look at a relatively younger carrier, Tello. This guide will serve to help you understand what the MVNO offers and how it competes in the mobile arena.Where can I buy an unlocked phone?Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsTips for buying a used phoneTell me about TelloTello is a newer player in the mobile field and finds itself in the increasingly crowded segment of low-cost, no-frills alternatives. Its service uses Sprint’s network for coverage but it operates with its own plans and features.What are Tello rate plans like?Tello rate plans are no-contract, meaning you can go month-to-month with no long-term agreement, cancellation, or activation fees. As many carriers in this space do, Tello throttles speeds once hitting the data allowance as opposed to charging overage fees.Customers can mix and match rate plans based on personal needs. A lot of users have access to Wi-Fi connections, or don’t make many calls in a month. To that end, it’s possible to dial things up or down to suit tastes; subscribers can change their plan as often as needed.Ready-made PlansThere are four ready-made plans that do a great job of meeting the demands of most users. They cost as low as $10 per month and include unlimited text and calling.$10/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 1GB of high-speed data$14/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 2GB of high-speed data$19/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with 4GB of high-speed data$39/month: Unlimited Talk and Text with Unlimited high-speed dataAre there any other Tello features?Tello offers a handful of other options to its customers, including mobile hotspot and international calls. You can use any amount of your data plan to tether other devices. Calls to Mexico, Canada, and China are the same as if you called in the United States.What about international calls and texts?In addition to the aforementioned countries, Tello subscribers can make calls to other India, Cuba, and a host of other countries. Each has its own rate and can be used in a mix-and-match fashion. All one need do is purchase a Pay As You Go credit ahead of time.The credit can also be used for SMS or data, depending on which plan you’re signed up with at the time.Does Tello have a referral program?Yes, they’re called Tello Dollars and the referral program rewards you for signing up friends and family members. Share your referral link, and once your friend places their first successful order, you get $10 Tello Dollars. Your friend also gets $10 Tello Dollars.You can refer as many friends as you like and the money can be used for things like rate plans, phones, and PAYG credits.What kind of phones does Tello offer?Taking a look at the current lineup of phones offered through Tello we find familiar names like LG, Samsung, and Motorola. All told, there are more than two dozen phones to choose from but it’s a real tossup as to what’s available.Buying an unlocked phone? Consider these questionsWhich carrier has the best value at $50 a month?Which major prepaid carrier has the best $40 rate plan?As is the case with prepaid providers or MVNO brands, selection is a mixed bag and leans more toward affordability and not performance.READ: Best phones available at TelloIt’s worth noting that the phones you order from Tello will come in plain generic packaging and may only include the charger and battery. There will be no manual, earbuds, or other accessories.Are there any phone deals with Tello?Indeed, there are plenty of phones with discounts, some ranging as high as $50 off. About half of the current roster is comprised of refurbished phones, which also means lower prices.Can I use my own phone with Tello?Yes, you can use any Sprint-compatible phone just so long as there’s no unpaid balance on another network. You’ll need to ensure it’s unlocked for use outside of Sprint if it was previously used with another carrier.Tello only accepts unlocked CDMA devices or unlocked multi-network phones that incorporate both CDMA and GSM technologies.Head to Tello’s website to check whether your specific model is supported.

Spend under $200 for these great mid-range headphones

Great headphones don't always come with a premium price tag, and cheaper headphones shouldn't automatically go back in the box.