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As the hours go by since the Mobile World Congress was cancelled, and given that the official explanation has too many gaps to have the necessary credibility, numerous questions open up affecting mainly three areas: are there more powerful reasons for the cancellation beyond the coronavirus?; why do the rest of international congresses continue to be held with absolute normality?; will the 'Mobile' return to Barcelona in 2021 with absolute certainty? The complex network of interests, both commercial and political, has presented the coronavirus and the existing social alarm before the public eye and, as usual, people have assumed this, with a certain state of shock added. Among other things, because, in a jiffy, about 500 million euros have vanished - these would have ended up in different pockets and will, to a large extent, not be recovered, since the complex legal process to litigate will not be quick or easy.

If it wasn't the coronavirus what took the 'Mobile' away, who or what suspended it? For Madrid, the easiest thing is to also blame the Catalan independence process or even the Catalan government management or that of the Barcelona city council. Administration division is also to blame, being Catalonia and Barcelona governed by different political parties. It is a hard nut to crack, since few things like the 'Mobile' have made the Catalan administrations work side by side, especially when they saw the writing on the wall that the congress might be called off. There is no consistency either in criticism of labor disputes that, on occasions, have managed to complicate the mobility of tens of thousands of congress attendees. The reasons must be sought thousands of kilometers away, for, if they are not related to health or to domestic issues, they have to be global.

At this point, one can only think of the trade war between the US and China and the desire of the former that 5G technology, in which the Chinese are ahead of the Americans, gets bogged down for a while. Enough to improve positions. It is known that, in this type of conflicts, companies are just one of the several pawns, mostly in the case of the US, and, perhaps, the retreat of American giants like AT&T, or other European companies, has to do with this global rivalry. The 'Mobile' would be collateral damage within a wider conflict. To make it even more complex, this congress displays the Asian leadership in telecommunications to the world, something that is hard to digest for the Americans. The coronavirus would have been the excuse; Barcelona, the payer; the Chinese, the harmed; and the US, the beneficiary.

And what about the MWC 2021? The official version shows no rifts: GSMA, the organiser, stays in Barcelona and their goal is to hold the best congress ever and make this year's frustrated edition stay as an anecdote. It is normal for administrations and GSMA, for different reasons, to stick firmly to this statement. The reason for the administrations being their uncertainty about the final outcome; and for GSMA, the leverage they might need in the litigation of all kinds that will unfortunately emerge. However, not wanting to jinx it, the 'Mobile' 2021 is, for now, at a very high risk even if there is a signed contract to hold it in Barcelona until 2023. Many things will have to change so that it turns out to be like that. With or without the coronavirus.