Three has become the first UK operator to introduce ad blocking at a network level.
The operator announced that along with Three Italy it has collaborated with Shine Technologies to implement ad technology to block adverts for its customers. The Three Group said that this would allow it to rapidly roll the service out to business units in other countries.
A number of UK networks have toyed with the idea of introducing ad blocking, with former EE CEO Olaf Swantee speaking out on the issue. O2 also revealed in November last year that it was considering blocking adverts.
The issue is a controversial one as the revenues connected to mobile advertising are substantial. Many different players within mobile have sought to control whose adverts reach customers. A task which has become more complex as the popularity of OTT services such as Facebook.
Statement of intent
Explaining exactly why it was implementing the service Three said that it had three principle goals. Firstly, that data charges for advertisements should be paid by the advertiser not the customer. Secondly, it wanted to protect customer’s data. Finally, Three was keen to ensure that the users mobile experience was not negatively impacted by ‘excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant adverts.’
Tom Malleschitz, chief marketing officer, Three UK, said: ‘Irrelevant and excessive mobile ads annoy customers and affect their overall network experience. We don’t believe customers should have to pay for data usage driven by mobile ads. The industry has to work together to give customers mobile ads they want and benefit from.
‘These goals will give customers choice and significantly improve their ad experience.’