BT Group reportedly has not yet completed work to rip-out Huawei equipment from the core of its network, meaning it runs the risk of being hit with fines as a government deadline of 31 December 2023 nears.

Bloomberg reported the operator is still working to replace Huawei’s kit with equipment from Ericsson and a spokesperson could not confirm whether it will meet the government’s year-end deadline to do so.

UK authorities announced an intention to ban the use of Huawei equipment in operator 5G networks in 2020 due to security fears, initially setting a deadline of January 2023 to remove the Chinese vendor’s kit from the core and cap use in radio access networks to 35 per cent.

However, it then granted an extension of six months to end-July for the core element, which was then extended to 31 December following an appeal from BT on the grounds that its progress was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Should it fail to hit the 31 December deadline, BT faces a fine of as much as 10 per cent of its revenue or £100,000 a day for each day it goes over the timeline.

Operators in the UK are required to remove all Huawei equipment from networks by the end of 2027. BT has previously stated it will cost around £500 million to complete the work.

Huawei has always maintained its equipment is not a threat.