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Airtel rubbishes Reliance Jio's complaint over Apple Watch cellular service

15 May 2018

According to PTI report, RJio has filed complaint against Bharti Airtel with the DoT, alleging that the telecom major is offering eSim service on Apple Watch Series 3 in violation of licence norms and demanded immediate closure of the service.

The Mukesh Ambani-owned firm added that the new service also necessitates changes in the way security agencies receive and analyse any target information. Refuting the allegations, however, Airtel said Jio's complaints are frivolous.

There is no denying that the arrival of Reliance Jio has created a churn in the Indian telecom sector.

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In the complaint to the DoT, Reliance Jio also added that Airtel failed to carry out Lawful Interception and Monitoring (LIM), a demo test to check the viability of the service and security measures are up to the mark, prior to the official launch of the Apple Watch cellular service.

On the key question, whether the node/server is India or not, Airtel was not straightforward in its answer. "We will be happy to share more details with the DoT as and when required".

Now if we talk about the Jio's ISD and global roaming plans then we can that its cheaper than other networks because it is offering worldwide calling (ISD) starts at Rs. 0.50 per minute to U.S. and Canada, and go up to Rs. 2 per minute to Bangladesh, China, France, Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, and United Kingdom; Rs. 3 per minute to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Turkey; Rs. 4 per minute to Australia, Bahrain, Pakistan, and Thailand; Rs. 5 per minute to Germany, Ireland, Japan, Kuwait, Russia, and Vietnam, and finally, Rs. 6 per minute to Israel, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UAE, and Uzbekistan. Neither it has refuted the claim by saying the node is located in India.

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We asked Airtel to clarify this.

"From Airtel's statement, it can be said there is something more than what meets the eye", said a regulatory officer at the DoT wished not to be identified. But, Airtel has reportedly set the erstwhile base outside of India which risks user details being tracked by the foreign host country and breaches privacy code. "Instead of addressing the main issue, their response seems to be a personal attack".

"Apple Watch Series 3 service is being offered by Airtel in deliberate and gross violation to the terms and conditions of Unified License", Jio said in a letter to the Department of Telecom. At the time of pairing of the two devices, over-the-air provisioning of eSIM is carried out by a dedicated network node that is used for eSIM profile allocation which contains network and user information.

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Jio also alleged that Airtel has deliberately chosen to install a critical network element outside India."We request your good office to take severe action against M/s Bharti Airtel Limited and impose the strictest of penalties under the License".

Airtel rubbishes Reliance Jio's complaint over Apple Watch cellular service