Jio, Airtel Fight Over Apple Watch; DoT Issues Notice, Airtel Says Jio’s Allegations Are Baseless!

Airtel has come out strongly against Jio’s accusations and has termed them as baseless.

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Jio Fighting With Airtel Over Apple Watch

The recent corporate battle between Jio and Airtel has a new casualty: Apple, which finds themselves stuck in the cross-fire.

Department of Telecom has issued notices to Airtel, and sought their reply, even as Airtel is claiming that the charges by Jio are baseless.

Who is right, and who is wrong here?

Jio To DoT: Airtel Is Breaking Laws Over Apple Watch!

Jio has complained to Department of Telecom or DoT over Airtel’s decision to activate eSIM required for Apple Watch.

As per the letter to DoT, Airtel is breaking licensing norms for telcos, by setting up a server outside India, for the eSIM purpose.

The Apple Watch
The Apple Watch

A source said,

“Jio has filed complaint alleging that Airtel has not set-up the eSIM provisioning node within India in “gross violation to the licence terms.”

DoT has responded to the letter and has asked Airtel whether they are storing any data of Indians outside the country or not.

Airtel Denies Charges

Meanwhile, Airtel has come out strongly against Jio’s accusations and has termed them as baseless.

Ravi Gandhi, chief regulatory officer, Airtel has written to DoT and said,

“The allegations of RJIL deserve to be completely ignored and we request that RJIL be severely reprimanded for making false, incorrect and baseless allegations that are completely devoid of merits.”

A spokesperson from Airtel has claimed that they are following all the regulations, and the data of Indians is not being stored outside for activating eSIM of Apple Watch.

The spokesperson said,

“It appears that this particular communication from the DoT (which is dated May 17, 2018) has not taken into account our communication. We would like to reiterate that this is yet another frivolous complaint by Reliance and we will respond to it at the appropriate forums,”

Interestingly both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are selling Apple Watches via their own distributors.

What Is The Fuss All About?

Apple Watch and iPhone, both can be used with SIMs independently, irrespective of the call status of the other.

However, Apple Watch has eSIM, which needs to be paired with the main SIM of iPhone, and this pairing is done via a dedicated network node. This node contains sensitive user and network information such as operator identifier, SIM details, PIN, remote file management for managing SIM files remotely.

As per Jio, Airtel has set up this dedicated node outside India, in a remote server, which violates licensing rules.

Airtel is arguing that Jio is referring to an inventory server, called SMDP server of eSIM, which is not Airtel’s node, the SIM maker decided where to store this data. As per some sources, every telco stores SMDP outside India, including Jio.

We will keep you updated, as we receive more information on this recent battle of telecom behemoths.

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