A recent coverage outage suffered by Sky Mobile customers was reportedly due to a push to strip out Huawei kit from its network, the first major sign of disruption caused by a UK government order issued in 2020 banning the use of the vendor’s 5G equipment.

A source told Financial Times (FT) a severe outage on Sky Mobile’s network earlier this year was linked to the migration of Huawei equipment.

Customers complained on social media about a lack of mobile internet and, in some cases, no mobile signal whatsoever.

A second source added there was no certainty the Huawei edict was the sole or main cause of the outage.

Sky Mobile is one of the largest MVNOs in the UK and while it uses VMO2’s infrastructure, it also deploys its own equipment to offer services.

In a statement to FT, Sky Mobile asserted it was fully complying with government requirements.

The UK government has given operators until 2027 to rip out existing products from public networks. However, the removal of Huawei’s equipment from the network core must be completed by end-December.

This was pushed back from an original target of January due to operator concerns the initial deadline could lead to network outages and disruption for customers.

Last month, Vodafone UK announced it had begun to advance a process to remove legacy Huawei kit from its network as it began to deploy virtualised open RAN equipment in 2,500 sites.