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(Pocket-lint) - EE has been working on removing Huawei gear from its core network for some time, but there is now a two-year delay to the timescale. The core network is the central, key part of the network.

EE is migrating to Ericsson 4G/5G core equipment instead. While - like other networks - EE will continue to use Huawei gear in cell towers and base stations, it announced that it would be removing Huawei core network infrastructure back in late 2018.

At that point, it said the move would take two years, so by the end of 2020 in other words. 

EE has now announced a two-year delay to this timetable, taking it up to 2023 - the UK Government's deadline for removing equipment from "high-risk vendors". Networks can only use up to 35 percent of Huawei gear in their non-core equipment, too. 

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EE sent us the following statement, which seems to blame the UK Government's focus on Huawei's role in 5G, even though the previously announced timeline would have been well within the 2023 deadline. "In order to hit the deadline for proposed government restrictions on 5G vendors, we’re re-ordering our internal migration plans and will be prioritising migration of 5G customers to our new converged Ericsson 4G/5G core," said an EE spokesperson.

A few days ago Huawei released a bizarrely-timed letter linking its role in UK 5G networks to the need to maintain good communications in the current global climate, saying "'disrupting our involvement in the 5G rollout would do Britain a disservice".

Writing by Dan Grabham.