According to reports, UK telco group BT hasn’t fully removed Huawei kit from network cores in time for a deadline of 31 December 2023.

Andrew Wooden

January 2, 2024

1 Min Read

According to the Telegraph, Bloomberg and others, BT has missed the deadline by a hair’s breadth, with 99% of core data flows moved over to non-Huawei kit.

A BT spokesperson told Bloomberg: “All 4G and 5G data sessions and voice calls are now delivered by non-Huawei core equipment – meaning that over 99% of all core traffic is now being served by non-Huawei kit.”  Apparently the remaining 1% of data is on older 2G and 3G networks.

If this is the case the question is whether or not there will be any enacted fines placed on BT, and any other telcos that find themselves in a similar boat. When asked to comment on this point back in December, a spokesperson at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology told Light Reading: "We continue to work with operators to remove Huawei technology as quickly as possible while minimizing disruption for customers, and operators remain on track to remove it from 5G public networks by the end of 2027.

“We have already introduced an immediate ban on the installation of new Huawei equipment, limiting their presence in full-fibre infrastructure, and are removing technology from sites with national security implications."

The UK government banned Huawei from supplying 5G network equipment to domestic telcos in 2020.

On paper there are hefty fines for not completing ‘rip and replace’ – 10% of revenues or £100,000 per day – however the deadline has previously been extended so it wouldn’t be surprising for that to happen again, especially as it sounds as if the job has been largely completed at BT by this point.  

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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