Three moves to block ads from mobile phones at network level

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19 Feb, 2016

It becomes the first European network to use Israeli technology

Three has said it will be the first major European mobile operator to block adverts on its network.

The firm will use technology from Israeli company Shine to block ads for users in the UK and Italy, saying it will then roll out the blockers to other countries “rapidly”.

Three stressed that the goal of using the technology was not to “eliminate mobile advertising”, but to “give customers more control, choice and greater transparency over what they receive”.

As the move is on Three’s network, ads would only be blocked when users are on 3G and 4G networks. Ads would continue to be served when users are on a Wi-Fi network.

The company said it has three goals in deploying the ad blocking technology. First, that customers should not pay data charges to receive adverts and these “should be costs borne by the advertiser”.

Second, it added that customers’ privacy and security must be fully protected. “Some advertisers use mobile ads to extract and exploit data about customers without their knowledge or consent,” it said.

Third, it added that customers “should be entitled to receive advertising that is relevant and interesting to them, and not to have their data experience in mobile degraded by excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant adverts."

The mobile operator said that it will reveal full details of how it plans to meet these objectives in the coming months.

Tom Malleschitz, chief marketing officer at Three UK, said that 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,” he added.

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