The GSM Association has released a statement denying it has anything to do with the so-called Mobile World Congress event to be held in India this September. According to the trade body of global mobile operators, the only event it is scheduled to hold in the country this year is the ‘Mobile 360 – India’ conference, which will take place in New Delhi on November 14 and 15. The organization has also clarified that it will host only three Mobile World Congress events globally this year, including the recently-concluded MWC 2017 in Barcelona, the MWC Shanghai from June 28 to July 1, and the very first MWC Americas, to be held at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California, from September 12-14 this year.
The statement released by GSMA is in response to recent reports in the Indian media that quoted the Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Mr. Rajan S. Matthew, as saying that a GSMA-backed MWC event will be hosted by the industry association of Indian GSM mobile service providers at the Pragati Maidan in New Delhi from September 27 this year. The organizers of the event apparently also claimed that global technology behemoths, such as Facebook, Huawei, Ericsson and Cisco, will all take part in the event alongside a whole host of India-based tech companies. The COAI also reportedly said that with the MWC Shanghai tuned mostly towards the massive domestic market in China, the Indian event will cater towards the entire South East Asian region, which has been emerging as a major telecom market in recent times.
The COAI hasn’t released an official response to the statement from GSMA, so the entire situation continues to remain a bit of a mystery for now. Some reports in the Indian media seem to indicate the event itself will go ahead as planned and many of the big tech giants from around the world will also participate as announced. The only thing that will be different is that it won’t be backed by the GSM Association unlike the official Mobile World Congress events from around the world. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the COAI to release an official clarification in this regard.