BT Misses Deadline to Remove China’s Huawei From Network Core

BT has missed an end-of-year deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network core, though it claims to have completed over 99 percent of the transfer.BT has missed the end-of-year deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network core, although the telecommunications provider said it has completed 99 percent of the transfer.Under a government ban of Huawei equipment after the United States sanctioned the Chinese telecommunications giant, British operators were given various deadlines to remove Huawei gears from various parts of their networks, including removing Huawei equipment from the network core by Dec. 31, 2023, and from 5G networks by the end of 2027.Operators were also told they could be fined up to 10 percent of their turnover or £100,000 per day if they failed to meet their legal duty.Days before Christmas, BT, which heavily relied on Huawei before the ban was issued, said it was still working on meeting the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline.In a statement emailed to The Epoch Times on Wednesday, a BT Group spokesperson said, “All 4G and 5G data sessions and voice calls are now delivered by non-Huawei core equipment—meaning that over 99 [percent] of all core traffic is now being served by non-Huawei kit.”According to the company, the shift involves migrating 30 million active customers across multiple platforms. It’s understood the remaining 1 percent are 2G and 3G voice and data services.Related Stories12/21/2023Communications regulator Ofcom is expected to report to the government by March 31 in compliance with the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline.A spokesperson for Virgin Media O2 said the company has finished removing all required equipment from its core broadband and mobile networks, adding, “We support the Government’s objective of removing Huawei equipment from UK telecoms networks.”Vodafone said it “never had any Huawei equipment” in its core network, and its focus is “on the radio network exclusively.”“The Vodafone programme to remove Huawei from the network is on track to be completed inside the Government deadline of 2027,” a spokesperson said.The Epoch Times has reached out to Three for comments.A spokesperson for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said: “Ofcom is due to report to the secretary of state in the spring on the progress made on the removal of Huawei equipment from core network functions.“In the meantime, we continue to work with operators to remove Huawei technology as quickly as possible while minimising disruption for consumers.” The ban on 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, and 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.”

BT Misses Deadline to Remove China’s Huawei From Network Core

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BT has missed an end-of-year deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network core, though it claims to have completed over 99 percent of the transfer.

BT has missed the end-of-year deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network core, although the telecommunications provider said it has completed 99 percent of the transfer.

Under a government ban of Huawei equipment after the United States sanctioned the Chinese telecommunications giant, British operators were given various deadlines to remove Huawei gears from various parts of their networks, including removing Huawei equipment from the network core by Dec. 31, 2023, and from 5G networks by the end of 2027.

Operators were also told they could be fined up to 10 percent of their turnover or £100,000 per day if they failed to meet their legal duty.

Days before Christmas, BT, which heavily relied on Huawei before the ban was issued, said it was still working on meeting the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline.

In a statement emailed to The Epoch Times on Wednesday, a BT Group spokesperson said, “All 4G and 5G data sessions and voice calls are now delivered by non-Huawei core equipment—meaning that over 99 [percent] of all core traffic is now being served by non-Huawei kit.”

According to the company, the shift involves migrating 30 million active customers across multiple platforms. It’s understood the remaining 1 percent are 2G and 3G voice and data services.

Communications regulator Ofcom is expected to report to the government by March 31 in compliance with the Dec. 31, 2023 deadline.

A spokesperson for Virgin Media O2 said the company has finished removing all required equipment from its core broadband and mobile networks, adding, “We support the Government’s objective of removing Huawei equipment from UK telecoms networks.”

Vodafone said it “never had any Huawei equipment” in its core network, and its focus is “on the radio network exclusively.”

“The Vodafone programme to remove Huawei from the network is on track to be completed inside the Government deadline of 2027,” a spokesperson said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Three for comments.

A spokesperson for the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology said: “Ofcom is due to report to the secretary of state in the spring on the progress made on the removal of Huawei equipment from core network functions.

“In the meantime, we continue to work with operators to remove Huawei technology as quickly as possible while minimising disruption for consumers.”

The ban on 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, and 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.”

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