ibusinesslines.com August 19, 2018

Airtel flouts licence norms to sell Apple Watch 3, alleges Reliance Jio

15 May 2018, 12:47 | Melissa Porter

Jio's ₹199 post-paid plan likely to trigger tariff war: Experts

Reliance Jio on Thursday unveiled a new postpaid plan that offers unlimited domestic voice calls and 25 GB of data as well as international calling at Rs0.50 per minute for Rs199 a month

"Reliance Jio's aggressively priced postpaid offering entails a tangible risk to Bharti Airtel's earnings outlook", said Japanese brokerage Nomura in a note. Recently, allegations by Jio were filed to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) wherein it accuses Airtel for violating Government's license norms.

Reliance Jio alleged that Airtel has not set-up the eSIM provisioning node within India and the node being used to provide Apple Watch Series 3 service is now located out of India in "gross violation to the license terms".

The latest Apple watch offers a service through which the customer can remain connected, make calls, receive texts and more, even without iPhone nearby. The node used for eSIM profile allocation contains network and user information such as operator identifier, SIM details, PIN, remote file management for managing SIM files remotely etc.

Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio) has asked the telecom ministry to take "severe action" and levy "strictest of penalties" against rival Bharti Airtel for violating license conditions by using a network of nodes, used to pair a subscriber's iPhone with the latest Apple watch, based overseas which could lead to a security breach. The reason being, the network related infrastructure for pairing the Watch with iPhone isn't set inside India. We noted that a Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile operator, were in talks with Apple for a broader strategic tie-up.

"Airtel has not set up eSIM provisioning node within India and the node being used to provide Apple Watch Series 3 service is now located out of India in gross violation of the licence terms", Jio wrote in a letter to the DoT on 11 May.

Now the report has said that as per the Unified License (UL), all network providers are mandated to put network nodes and elements inside the country.

Not only that, Jio has also demanded DoT that "strictest penalties" and "severe action" should be taken against Bharti Airtel.

To offer a such a seamless connectivity service without any issues, carriers such as Airtel and Reliance Jio offer a dedicated network node.

The new Zero Touch plan from Jio gets its name because the company claims that the customer is not required to separately activate various services like voice, internet (data), SMS and worldwide calling once he shifts to this plan. Reliance, furthermore, claims that this is a breach of national security and is a "deliberate, gross violation" of Unified License norms. The maximum for a penalty for a breach of such license conditions is ₹50 crore per circle. Airtel denied the accusations, labeling Jio's complaint as "frivolous".

"This is yet another frivolous complaint by a desperate operator, whose sole aim appears to have a monopoly over everything that they do", a Bharti Airtel spokesperson said when contacted.

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