Jio complains against Airtel over Apple Watch service; Airtel refutes charge

Jio offer hits stocks of rivals

In a complaint filed with the DoT, Jio said that Airtel is offering e Sim service on Apple Watch Series 3 in violation of licence norms. The Mukesh Ambani-led telco alleged that Airtel is hosting the network nodes which are used in the Cellular variants of the Apple Watch overseas, which could lead to lead to a security breach. "However, even in a scenario where we assume 10-15 percent of postpaid revenues are from worldwide calls, and global tariffs get cut by 50 percent, the impact on overall revenue of incumbents is likely to be less than 2 percent", Goldman Sachs said. India has 22 telecom circles.

Airtel, in an e-mail response, said it as another "frivolous complaint by a desperate operator" and added that Airtel is a law- abiding and responsible operator. "We will be happy to share more details with the DoT as and when required", it said.

However, Bharti sources said the only information outside of India is the eSIM inventory, which is like any other SIM inventory data and is a practice followed by nearly all global operators.

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"There is no CDR (call detail record) or KYC (know your customer), or any private information, outside the country and lawful interception is within India", one of the officials said.

Furthermore, the person added that DoT was fully aware of the network architecture and functionality of the Apple Watch Series 3 on Airtel network.

Jio has demanded immediate closure of the service. The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by BusinessLine, also termed the services of violating security conditions. Explaining the violation, Jio said the smartwatch and iPhone share the same mobile number, which with the eSIM facility can be used to make or receive calls independent of the call status of the other device. In case of Apple Watch, the eSIM is connected to the SIM in iPhone wireless though a dedicated network node. The Unified License (UL) states that location of switches and network elements needs to be within the country.

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Both, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are selling Apple Watch Series 3 from 11 May through their sales channels.

Further, Airtel should have carried out Legal Interception and Monitoring (LIM) prior to service launch so that important national security interests are not compromised in any manner.

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