Apple Watch: Reliance Jio claims Bharti Airtel violating licence rules; firm denies

Jio offer hits stocks of rivals

Bharti Airtel, the country's biggest telecom operator, fell 6.4 per cent, while Idea Cellular plunged almost 12 per cent, the most in a decade, on fears that Jio's new plan will erode revenues and margins.

Mumbai: Shares of Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel plunged in Friday's trade after Reliance Jio announced aggressive tariffs for post-paid subscribers that are cheaper by up to 50 per cent over its rivals. 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.

As per Airtel sources the only information outside of India is the e-SIM 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, we request you to direct Airtel to immediately stop this service and start this service only upon complying with the requirements of national security and addressing the violations of the license terms and conditions", Jio said. The letter, a copy of which was reviewed by BusinessLine, also termed the services of violating security conditions. Apple Watch and iPhone of a subscriber share the same number and subscribers can use both iPhone and Apple Watch with eSIM to make or receive calls independent of the call status of the other devices. "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.

"We are neither aware whether Airtel has made necessary changes in its LIM solution nor if it has offered this service for LIM demonstration to the DT and security agencies", it added.

According to Reliance Jio, Airtel hasn't installed an eSIM provisioning node within India. "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", said an Airtel spokesperson.

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