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Apple Watch: Bharti Airtel denies Reliance Jio claims that it is violating licence rules

An Airtel spokesperson said all information relating to customers, network nodes, etc is hosted in a fully secure manner by Bharti along with provision for lawful interception.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi |
Updated: May 14, 2018 8:17:10 am
Apple Watch Series 3 LTE, Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular, Apple Watch Series 3 LTE price in India, Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular Airtel, Series 3 Reliance Jio Apple Watch was launched in India last week. 

Reliance Jio has complained to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), saying that Bharti Airtel has violated unified licence (UL) conditions as it has not set up the network related infrastructure for pairing the Apple Watch with iPhone inside the country. In a letter to DoT, Jio said: “We understand that Airtel has not set up the referred eSIM provisioning node within India and the node being used to provide Apple Watch Series 3 service is currently located out of India in gross violation to the licence terms.”

Under UL conditions, all the equipment for providing access to services should be deployed within India. 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.

Read | Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular now available in India: Price in India, launch offers, etc

“At the time of pairing of the iPhone with Apple Watch, over-the-air provisioning of eSIM is carried out by a dedicated network node. Such node used for eSIM profile allocation is a critical network element and the profile information contains important network and user information like operator identifier, SIM details, remote file management for managing SIM files remotely etc,” it added. Since Bharti has not set up the requisite network within the country, it is violating UL norms, Jio claims.

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apple watch airtel 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 almost all global operators

When contacted, a Bharti spokesperson said, “This is yet another frivolous complaint by a desperate operator whose sole aim appears to have a monopoly over everything that they do. Bharti is a law-abiding and responsible operator. 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.”

Read | Apple Watch 3 LTE first impressions 

“All information relating to customers, network nodes, etc is hosted in a fully secure manner by Bharti along with provision for lawful interception. The company will be happy to share more details with the DoT as and when required,” the spokesperson added.

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 almost all global operators. FE

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