Now, Reliance Jio has allegedly detected that the Apple Watch service offered by Airtel is in deliberate and gross violation of the terms and conditions of Unified License and also compromises national security.
Why Reliance Jio believes Airtel's Apple Watch 3 cellular service is a threat to national security?
For those unaware, Apple Watch Series 3 Cellular comes with an eSIM (embedded SIM). With this feature, Apple smart wearable can be wirelessly connected to the owner's iPhone's SIM.
Once paired, Apple Watch can work as a standalone telecommunication device, as it can catch radio signal by itself. Users can just leave the iPhone home and carry just the Watch to a jogging park or even to your office, and still be able to answer or make calls and text a message straight from the smart wearable. Users can even book cabs on the Apple Watch 3 Cellular model.
To offer a such a seamless connectivity service without any issues, carriers such as Airtel and Reliance Jio offer a dedicated network node. This particular 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… So, in order the protect the sensitive information, the Unified License agreement clearly states that carrier must set up network nodes within the country.
But, Airtel has reportedly set the aforementioned base outside of India thereby risking the user information being tracked by the foreign host country, Reliance Jio claims.
In the complaint to the DoT, Reliance Jio also added that Airtel failed to carry out Lawful Interception and Monitoring (LIM), a demo test to check the viability of the service and security measures are up to the mark, prior to the official launch of the Apple Watch cellular service.
Taking note of the seriousness of the issue, Reliance Jio has filed a complaint to Department of Telecommunication (DoT) to stop Airtel's Apple Watch 3 series Cellular with immediate effect and penalize the guilty party in the harshest terms.
"We (Jio) request your good office (DoT) to take severe action against M/s Bharti Airtel Limited and impose the strictest of penalties under the License. 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," PTI quoted Jio letter to DoT.
As per Unified License agreement, if any network provider fails to comply with the terms and conditions, it is liable to pay a maximum of Rs 50 crore as penalty.
Airtel refutes Reliance Jio charges:
Airtel has rubbished the Reliance Jio's complaint to DoT as frivolous and mischievous in nature with sole intention to malign the former's brand name.
"This is yet another frivolous complaint by a desperate operator, whose sole aim appears to have a monopoly over everything that they do. Bharti Airtel is a law-abiding and responsible operator. The DoT was duly notified prior to the launch of Apple watch including product features, network architecture and a lawful interception and we have also requested them to carry out a demonstration of the same. All information relating to customers, network nodes etc. is hosted in a fully secure manner by Airtel India along with provision for lawful interception, " Airtel spokesperson said to International Business Times India Edition.