KTL delivers to target on BT/EE vendor swap programme and technology upgrades
In November 2020, the UK government placed a ban on the installation of new Huawei equipment in 5G networks and laid out a roadmap for removing all telecommunications equipment made by "high risk" vendors, including Huawei by 2027. As of September 2021, UK operators were and still are no longer able to install Huawei equipment.
The Telecoms Security Requirements (TSR) states that operators should harden their infrastructure against attacks to ensure that the UK’s telecoms networks are secure, regardless of the vendors used.
KTL has partnered with BT, one of the biggest communications service companies in the world and operator of the EE network, to provide a full end-to-end telecommunications service covering the design, acquisition, installation, and commissioning to:
Swap out high-risk equipment with alternative non-high-risk vendors within the timescales set out by the government.
Maintain and advance EE’s status as the UK’s best mobile network for its customers - rolling out the latest 5G technology and upgrading its existing 4G network to increase capacity and help EE keep its competitive position in the market.
When swapping equipment from one vendor to another it can impact the customer experience due to inter-site handovers between different operators. The addition of 5G has also meant infrastructure upgrades to support the new antennas and radio units which complicates the build and has implications during the design and acquisition stages also.
“We are working with BT to rapidly expand coverage of incoming vendors. This has meant careful prioritisation of sites, managing the design, acquisition, and construction to maximise the sites that can be built. Since starting the project, KTL has established a reliable track record for delivering high monthly site volumes whilst minimising network impact wherever possible,” said Nicholas Hinitt, BT Vendor Swap Project Consultant.
KTL has taken on a complex programme with stringent deadlines and through implementing a series of controls and streamlined processes has taken a dynamic start-up project to bring consistency and deliver upon our commitments for BT.
“We finished the year  very strong and hit most targets in what was a very challenging and exciting year. We can only do this and continue to be the UK’s best Network with partners like KTL,” said James Hope, BT Director of Mobile Radio Access Networks.
Overall, the success of the Vendor Swap programme relies on the efforts and diligence of the design, acquisition, and build teams and KTL has done its utmost to achieve BT’s targets and deliver the technology upgrades that BT requires.
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