The GSMA also produces the industry-leading MWC events held annually in Barcelona, Shanghai and Los Angeles, as well as the Mobile 360 Series of regional conferences.
"We weren't able to guarantee the safety of our employees but also all of the people who will be visiting us at the booth", Ericsson Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Stella Medlicott told Reuters.
As well as drawing large numbers of visitors, the Mobile World Congress usually gives a $500 million lift to the local economy as delegates throng to the Fira trade fairgrounds, wine and dine contacts and criss-cross Barcelona by taxi.
"Ericsson has thousands of visitors in its hall every day, and even if the risk is low, the company can not guarantee the health and safety of its employees and visitors", said the company.
97 more die as coronavirus toll rises to over 900
The WHO team is scheduled to land in China on Monday evening to begin its investigation and assist in the epidemic containment. Outside China , the highest number of cases reported have been on a cruise ship docked at the Yokohama Port in Japan.
The statement concludes by restating that the event will proceed as planned across all venues.
"Ericsson's cancellation will have some impact on our presence at this time and will potentially have further impact", the group said. "Advocating across the industry through government and ministers, policymakers, operators and industry leaders has never been more critical". There is no vaccine.
Two deaths have been reported outside mainland China - both of Chinese nationals.
We've not seen any other announcements yet, but as the conference dates approach, I know that we - and many others - will be watching the travel advisories and health news carefully so that we all can make an informed decision on whether to attend. According to the reports, there is a belief that the race will have to be at least postponed. We respect their decision and are reassured by their commitment that they will be at MWC Barcelona 2021 in full force and our rebook trends for next year's event remain high. ZTE also said it took measures, including daily disinfection of the exhibition stand and ensuring that staff are staffed from countries outside China, mainly from Europe. However, they stated that they are looking forward to share their work on artificial intelligence, 5G and vRAN, and not attending the event is the right decision.
He said, however, that there was not much discussion among his customers about the virus.