BT is edging closer to its removal of Huawei's kit from its core mobile network.

The removal is on track to be completed by the end of next month, according to BT Group chief security and networks officer Howard Watson.

Huawei equipment at a BT Openreach facility in December 2023 – Sebastian Moss

It's later than initially planned after BT missed the December 31, 2023, deadline for removing Huawei equipment from its network core.

BT did state at the time that it had removed 99 percent of the kit.

Watson said that the outstanding infrastructure was “not for traffic” but instead used for managing data bundles with an alternative platform in the process of being built.  

The deadline was the result of an extension offered by the UK Government. Plans to ban Huawei equipment were first announced in 2021 at which point BT began the rip-and-replace process. The original deadline was in January 2023.

BT previously estimated that removing Huawei from its networks would cost around £500 million ($633m) between 2020 and 2025.

During the same call last week, the operator also said that it expects to launch its 5G Standalone (5G SA) network this year.

5G SA is not reliant on older mobile generations and solely uses a 5G core network, as opposed to 5G Non-Standalone (5G NSA), which is designed to be deployed on top of an existing 4G LTE network.

Rival network operator Vodafone switched on its 5G SA network in some parts of the UK last July.