BARCELONA – So far, the largest mobile technology trade conference. Mobile World Congress, will take place from February 28 to March 3. The organisers have not yet stated any changes to the congress due to the war in Ukraine.
However, it could pose a problem that some countries closed their airspace over certain parts of Eastern Europe during the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Mobile World Congress 2022 is one of the first international events to feature the war between Russia and Ukraine.
Russian Pavilion veto
According to Reuters news agency, the organisation of the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2022) has decided to veto the Russian pavilion. The same goes for some Russian technology companies that do not have permission to be present at the fair. However, it is not yet clear which companies (and other institutions) are ultimately affected. Industry experts said on Friday they foresee difficulties for complication-free progress of the world’s most important technology event.
Limited travel options aviation
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) indicated that Ukraine’s airspace in Russia and Belarus within 100 nautical miles of the borders with Ukraine could pose risks.
British flights to and over Russia have been banned by the country’s civil aviation authority. This is in retaliation for a UK ban on Russian airline Aeroflot at UK airports and in UK airspace.
The limited presence of startups from Russia and Ukraine
According to experts, the event can continue, but with a proviso. “I don’t think the war between Russia and Ukraine will have any impact on the Mobile World Congress 2022. It will limit the presence of startups from these countries. Both Ukraine and Russia have a strong technology startup climate,” said Tarun Pathak, Director of Counterpoint Research at MWC.
Third-year with problems
In 2020 health authorities and the administrations canceled Mobile World Congress after travellers were banned from China’s coronavirus outbreak zones by organiser GSM Association and many exhibitors withdrew out of fear. The conference took place virtually in 2021.
The show must go on
According to Faisal Kawoosa, founder and chief analyst of Techarc, the current scenario could spoil the event as people may reconsider their trip to Barcelona because of the war. “I see this as a spoiler of the event. With the way things are developing, a lot of people will choose not to travel to the event. “However, the show must go on if it doesn’t get out of hand. We must have Mobile World Congress this year,” he added.
More than 1,800 participants and exhibitors from 183 different countries are expected to attend MWC 2022. Many of the biggest names in the industry, such as Google, Samsung, OPPO, Nokia, Ericsson, and Meta (formerly Facebook), are expected to attend this year.