Telco Three has announced plans to block advertisements from mobile web pages on its network in Britain and Italy, setting the stage for conflict with the media and marketing industries.
The Financial Times reports the company – which has 30 million subscribers worldwide – has successfully tested the technology in the UK and Italy and would expand the scheme internationally.
The carriers are owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison Holdings, which has additional network and broadband operations under the same brand in Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Sweden.
Three said it would offer the ad-blocking software, developed by Israeli firm Shine, to its customers.
Three UK chief marketing officer Tom Malleschitz said irrelevant and excessive mobile ads annoyed customers and affected their overall network experience.
“We don’t believe customers should have to pay for data usage driven by mobile ads,” he said. Three’s plan will increase the pressure on media companies, whose revenues have already been hit by the widespread installation of ad-blocking software by consumers on their PCs and mobile phones.
Other European carriers are also reported to be investigating rolling out ad-blocking technology at network level.
More on ad blocking
- Analysis of the issue and possible resolutions, by Brian Rock, head of Insights & Research
- Fascinating first-person piece by Marketing Director Charlie Murdoch, who downloaded an ad blocker and couldn’t believe what happened next.
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