India’s largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel slammed Reliance Jio Infocomm for levelling false and base allegations about its new Apple Watch Series 3 service and sought the highest penalty against its rival for making frivolous and unsubstantiated claims. “The bald allegations made by Jio are false, misconceived, without basis and have not been substantiated in any manner,” Airtel said in a statement to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), reports ET. Airtel also asked the DoT to seek proof from Reliance Jio to support its allegations or apologise. “We request DoT to kindly put RJIL to strict proof and compel them to either prove allegations or withdraw the said letter and make a public apology,” Ravi Gandhi, chief regulatory officer, Airtel, wrote to the department.
The telecom operator further added the allegations made by RJIL deserve to be completely ignored and it also requested imposition of the highest amount of penalty be levied on its rival for making such false, incorrect and baseless allegations.
These comments come days after Reliance Jio complained to the telecom regulator alleging the Airtel’s e-SIM provisioning node used to provide Apple Watch Series 3 services was located outside India, in gross violation of unified license norms. The Mukesh Ambani led telco added Airtel had not demonstrated lawful interception and monitoring, thus compromising national security and demanded immediate closure of the service.
Airtel, however, in a letter dated May 15 refuted the allegations and stated that all information relating to customers, network nodes etc. along with provisions for lawful interception is hosted in a fully secure manner by the company in its network in India.
Airtel’s letter said that network node referred by Reliance Jio appears to be an inventory server, called SMDP server of eSIM, which as per UL conditions is not part of the network element. It alleged Reliance Jio itself is using SMDP servers installed outside India.
This war of words between the two companies began last week over Apple Watch Series 3 cellular services, which both began offering on May 11. The service allows subscribers to make or receive on Apple Watch Series 3 with the help of an eSIM that shares the same number as their primary phone.
Meanwhile, the Department of Telecom has sought reply within a week from Airtel about eSIM service facilitation by the company on Apple Watch 3. It asked the company to provide information on the process it followed for activation of the Apple Watch service, the allocation and configurations of the eSIM and the network node where the eSIM profiles and user information of subscribers was stored. The DoT also informed that the security clearance tests for the service are due on May 23 and May 30, 2018