Deadline Looms for BT to Remove Huawei out of UK’s Core Networkthedigitalchaps


With 10 days left before the cutoff date, the telecoms provider said it’s still focusing on the ‘work in the core for the government’s deadline.’

The deadline is approaching for the UK’s telecoms operators to remove Huawei equipment from their core networks, but BT is reportedly at risk of missing the end-of-year target.

The government announced the ban of Huawei equipment after the United States sanctioned the Chinese telecommunications giant, with various deadlines for different parts of networks. Operators have been told they could be fined up to 10 percent of their turnover or £100,000 per day if they fail to to meet their legal duty.

According to Bloomberg, BT, the biggest telecoms provider in the UK which heavily relied on Huawei’s equipment for its networks, still hasn’t completed the work to replace Huawei equipment from its network core, although telecom news website Light Reading said the shift to an Ericsson platform has “nearly completed.”

In late October, Mark Henry, the director of network and spectrum strategy for BT, told Light Reading that the company had migrated over 50 percent of traffic to its new platform, saying, “We are on track, but there are challenges.”

In a statement emailed to The Epoch Times, a BT spokesman said: “We’ve met our initial targets—both our radio access network (RAN) traffic levels and sites were below the levels required by the government for its July 2023 deadline. Our focus is now on work in the core for the government’s deadline.”

The company didn’t confirm whether it’s set to meet the target in 10 days or whether it has requested an extension.

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Communications regulator Ofcom is expected to report to the government in March on compliance with the Huawei ban.

National Security

An Ofcom spokesperson told Bloomberg that the “government is responsible for setting and enforcing the rules requiring certain telecoms companies to remove Huawei equipment from their network,” while the watchdog monitors the progress and reports to the government.

A government spokesman told The Telegraph that officials “continue to work with operators to remove Huawei technology as quickly as possible while minimising disruption for consumers, 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 spokesman said.

The ban of Huawei equipment came after the National Cyber Security Centre said that the security of the company’s products was no longer manageable after it was barred from accessing U.S. semiconductor technology.

The government designated Huawei Technologies and its affiliated companies as high-risk vendors “in the interests of national security” because of the way the Chinese regime operates, safety concerns about the company’s equipment, as well as U.S. sanctions against it.

In a designation notice to Huawei, Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said the Chinese regime and associated actors “have carried out, and are expected to continue to carry out, cyber-attacks against the United Kingdom and the United Kingdom’s interests,” adding that China’s National Intelligence Law means companies in the country can be compelled to do the state’s bidding.

Ms. Donelan also cited “significant concerns” about Huawei’s engineering processes, saying the cyber security and engineering quality of Huawei’s products and services “give rise to a real risk of hostile exploitation and/or systemic failures.”