UK extends Huawei 5G phase-out deadline


Removal of Hauwei 5G kit from network ‘cores’ extended from January 2023 to December 2023, after BT warning

The UK has extended the deadline for UK carriers to remove Huawei equipment from their 5G networks.

The government announced the decision on Thursday after issuing legal notices to 35 UK operations, in response to a query about Huawei.

Carriers will now have until December 31, 2023 to remove Huawei 5G kit from network cores, up from the original deadline of January 28, 2023.

deadline changed

The December 2023 deadline is for carriers to remove Huawei equipment, such as that used at telephone tower sites and telephone exchanges, from their network “cores,” where some of the most sensitive data is processed. , CNBC reported.

The requirement for companies to reduce the level of Huawei equipment in their non-core networks to 35 percent has been delayed until October 31, 2023, later than the initial July ultimatum.

However, the government said the deadline of the end of 2027 to completely remove all Huawei equipment from UK 5G networks remains unchanged.

The government has sent legal notices to 35 UK telecommunications network operators to officially enforce this move.

It comes after the UK government, after much delay, ordered all UK carriers in July 2020 to remove equipment from “high-risk vendors” such as Huawei from Britain’s 5G network to 2027, for reasons of national security.

To fulfill this order, Huawei’s 4G equipment must also be removed.

That “national security” ban came into effect on December 31, 2020, after which UK carriers had to stop sourcing new equipment from high-risk suppliers.

Huawei has always denied that it poses a risk to national security.

Operator objections

EE’s owner (BT) had said in April 2020 (just as the coronavirus pandemic was starting to hit hard), that removing Huawei equipment from EE’s ‘core mobile network’ would be delayed by two years and cost $500m. of pounds sterling.

Other UK mobile operators including Vodafone, EE and Three had previously warned that they would need at least five years, and ideally seven, to remove Huawei equipment from their networks.

Carriers also said removing Huawei’s kit could delay the completion of 5G rollout by 2-3 years and add costs of up to £2bn across carriers.

The one exception to this was O2, which opted to use 5G equipment from Ericsson and Nokia from the start.

In September and October 2020, BT announced that it would use Nokia and Ericsson equipment to replace Huawei kit.

The government’s decision to push back the 2023 deadline slightly came after BT reportedly requested an extension beyond January 2023 for Huawei’s removal from core 5G infrastructure, saying it may not meet the deadline. deadline due to delays caused by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Vodafone has already pushed Huawei out of its core.


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