Vodafone Idea will begin offering cellular service for Apple Watch (GPS + Cellular) starting today giving customers the freedom to leave their phone behind and stay connected with just their Apple Watch.
This service is available for Vodafone Postpaid customers, including Enterprise Postpaid subscribers, in select circles (Mumbai, Delhi, Gujarat) beginning June 12, 2020. Services will continue to be expanded to additional circles in the coming weeks. Indian telecom operators are increasingly seeking out partnerships with global technology companies to enhance their value offering for subscribers. It is likely that Apple will replicate this service with other telcos but chose to start with Vodafone Idea due to its existing premium postpaid user base, according to industry analysts.
Whether users are out for a run, at the pool or just trying to be more active throughout their day, Apple Watch (GPS + Cellular) with Vodafone Idea allows them to stay connected, make calls, and stream Apple Music, even without iPhone nearby.
Speaking about the development, Avneesh Khosla, Director – Marketing, Vodafone Idea Ltd, said, “Consumers today are increasingly moving towards having connected products in their lives. With the launch of cellular support for Apple Watch we are enabling our customers to connect their Apple Watch to their iPhone using the same or existing mobile number and enjoy the freedom of using their Apple Watch independently to stay connected.”
Apple users will need to update iPhone to latest iOS and pair their device with the iPhone to use this service. The service will allow users to share their postpaid number and plan with the Apple iPhone. Enterprise Postpaid customers need prior confirmation from their Authorised signatory to set up the service.
In recent weeks, Reliance Industries’ Jio — owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani — has secured more than $10 billion in investment from Facebook and private equity groups including KKR, General Atlantic, Vista Equity Partners and Silver Lake.
However, technology and telecom analysts had noted that telecom subscribers tend to be very brand conscious and the Jio-Facebook deal would only increase the pressure on other telcos to forge similar partnerships to monetise their data subscriber base and the telcos are currently working towards expanding these offerings.