Two years ago Patently Apple posted a report covering Apple’s CEO and Jeff Williams being in India on business meeting with India’s wireless carriers that were planning a huge push into 4G which would open the door for Apple’s iDevices. We noted that a Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator, were in talks with Apple for a broader strategic tie-up.
Today we’re learning that one of India’s wireless carriers, Reliance Jio Infocomm, has filed a complaint against Bharti Airtel with the Department of Telecom (DoT), alleging that this major telecom is offering eSIM service on Apple Watch Series 3 in violation of license norms and demanded immediate closure of the service.
India’s Livemint further noted that Reliance Jio stated in a letter to DoT that “Apple Watch Series 3 service is being offered by Airtel in deliberate and gross violation to the terms and conditions of Unified License.”
Both, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are selling Apple Watch Series 3 from 11 May through their sales channels. 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.
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.
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 currently located out of India in “gross violation to the license terms.”
The report doesn’t explain what advantage Indian based Airtel would gain by setting up the service outside the country, but to be sure, the issue is causing a lot of tension in the wireless sector. For more on this, read the full Livemint report here.
The tension is also rising on a different front regarding eSIM cards. Patently Apple posted a report in April titled “The DOJ is investigating all Major U.S. Carriers over collusion to thwart eSIM cards.” The report noted that “In February, the Justice Department issued demands to AT&T, Verizon and the G.S.M.A., a mobile industry standards-setting group, for information on potential collusion to thwart a technology known as eSIM.”
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