Reliance Jio files complaint against Airtel over Apple Watch eSIM service

Reliance Jio Postpaid Plan of Rs 199 May Lead To Tariff Wars: Report

Though Bharti Airtel has refuted all allegations leveled by Jio pertaining to the Apple Watch services, the Sunil Mittal-led firm has slyly avoided the key question - whether it has the eSIM provisioning node in India or not.

In a letter sent to DoT, Jio alleged that the eSIM services being offered by Airtel on Apple Watch Series 3 are in violation of licence norms.

The Apple Watch Series 3 cellular functionality is supported by Apple iPhone 6 and above. The eSIM profile allocation contains network and user information like operator identifier, SIM details, PIN, remote file management for managing SIM files etc.

In the latest turn of events, Reliance Jio has reportedly asked the Department of Telecommunications to take severe action and levy penalties against Bharti Airtel. The reason being, the network related infrastructure for pairing the Watch with iPhone isn't set inside India.

Bharti Airtel had on 24 April announced a partnership with Apple for the India launch of the Apple Watch Series 3. "ESIM provisioning node in India and the node being used to provide Apple Watch Series 3 is now located outside India in gross violation of license terms", said Jio in its filing to DoT.


The user's iPhone and Apple Watch share the same number and the user can choose either device to make or receive calls via the electronic SIM. "Airtel has deliberately chosen to install a critical network element outside India for a service being offered under the Access Services License (which) indicates its blatant disregard for the sanctity of the license terms and conditions including important security conditions", Jio says.

After the revision of the Airtel prepaid plan 149, the plan now competes with the Reliance Jio Plan 149. Reliance Jio claimed it could be a breach of security.

"...running a sensitivity analysis on whether Airtel were to match the Rs 199 tariff, for every 10% of the postpaid subscriber base that downgrades its tariff plan, the impact on Airtel's Indian wireless revenue would be 1 per cent", Morgan Stanley report said. "The DoT was duly notified prior to the launch of Apple watch including product features, network architecture and lawful interception and we have also requested them to carry out a demonstration of the same", Airtel said in a statement.

As per Unified License agreement, if any network provider fails to comply with the terms and conditions, it is liable to pay a maximum of Rs 50 crore as penalty.

"'Zero-Touch' post-paid plan to offer unlimited benefits at Rs 199 per month, global calling starting at 50 paise per minute and worldwide roaming at Rs 2 for voice, data and SMS for all Jio customers", Reliance Jio said in a statement on Thursday.

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