The DoT has sought reply within a week from Airtel on a complaint by rival Reliance Jio alleging that the operator flouted norms on activation of eSIM in Apple Watch 3, an official source said. The Department of Telecom also mentioned that the security clearance tests for the service are due on May 23 and May 30, 2018. The DoT on May 17 has sought multiple clarification within a week from Airtel about eSIM service facilitation by the company on Apple Watch 3. Both, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are selling Apple Watch Series 3 since May 11 through their sales channels.
“Jio has filed complaint alleging that Airtel has not set-up the eSIM provisioning node within India in “gross violation to the licence terms. Airtel had informed DoT about the service but in its letter services storing user information was not indicated. The department has asked Airtel whether e-sim provisioning network of node of Airtel is storing eSIM profiles and user information outside India,” the source told PTI.
Apple Watch 3 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. The eSIM is paired with the SIM in iPhone wirelessly through a dedicated network node.
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. “The DoT has received information that Airtel intends to launch Apple Watch 3 service. The tests for security clearance of the service is scheduled for May 23 and May 30, 2018. This was informed to Airtel on May 11,” the source said. When contacted Airtel spokesperson said that the company has already written to the DoT on May 15, 2018 and clarified that it is in compliance with the licence conditions and why “Reliance’s complaint is fallacious and needs to be rejected”.
“It appears that this particular communication from the DoT (which is dated May 17, 2018) has not taken into account our communication. We would like to reiterate that this is yet another frivolous complaint by Reliance and we will respond to it at the appropriate forums,” the spokesperson said. Airtel in its letter dated May 15 to DoT said that all information relating to customers, network nodes etc, along with provision for lawful interception, are hosted in a fully secure manner by the company in India.
It stated that no network node or information or data, as alleged by Reliance Jio, has been hosted outside of India. Airtel’s letter said that network node referred by Reliance Jio appears to be an inventory server, called SMDP server of eSIM, which is not the network node of the company. The letter said that network related information on SIM or eSIM to enable mobile devices connect with network is loaded by SIM makers outside India.
Airtel said that Reliance Jio itself is using SMDP servers installed outside India, which it has not diclosed to the DoT. A company official on condition of anonymity said that charges levelled by the rival are baseless and the SMDP server used by Jio is located inside India.