Three becomes the first mobile carrier in Europe to block ads at network level


Posts: 7,782   +79
Staff member

Mobile operator Three has announced that it will become the first major carrier in Europe to block ads at a network level. The move will no doubt upset ad companies, as well as the many digital publishers who rely on the revenue that ads generate.

Three UK and Three Italy have signed a deal with Shine, an Israeli company that specializes in blocking mobile advertising. If it is successful, the technology will expand to other Three markets across the globe.

Three says that it isn’t looking to eliminate all mobile advertising, rather it wants to give its customers more control over what they see. The company has outlined three goals it hopes to achieve by using Shine’s technology:

  • Customers should not pay data charges to receive adverts. These are costs that should come from the advertiser.
  • 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.
  • Customers should receive adverts relevant to them, and not “have their data experience in mobile degraded by excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant adverts.”

It’s not clear how Three will meet all these goals, especially when it comes to asking advertisers to pay data charges, but it said it will reveal more details soon.

"Over the coming months Three will announce full details of how it will achieve these objectives and will work with Shine Technologies and the advertising community to deliver a better, more targeted and more transparent mobile ad experience to customers," says a Three spokesperson.

Jamaica-based operator Digicel became the first to use Shine’s ad-blocking technology in September last year. Shine has said it plans to offer its services to more European carriers throughout this year, and the company has its sights set on the US market.

“Irrelevant and excessive mobile ads annoy customers and affect their overall network experience,” said Tom Malleschitz, chief marketing officer at Three UK. “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.”

Slightly ironically, Three is well known in the UK for producing entertaining ads, such as the one below.

Image credit: Georgejmclittle / Shutterstock

Permalink to story.



Posts: 2,221   +1,040
This -> "Customers should not pay data charges to receive adverts. These are costs that should come from the advertiser." is the single best thing I have ever herd suggested to help combat ads. Why the hell should it use my data to advertise something I don't want to see in the first place. Unfortunately it's only a matter of time before this Shine service starts to accept money from ad companies to allow their ads to pass through, too bad, still a good idea for the time being.


Posts: 4,334   +4,971
I hope this becomes common practice, ads account for about a third of my mobile data usage. I especially hate it when they autoload video ads on my phone unnecessarily eating away at the precious data that ATT has blessed me with


Posts: 8,645   +3,289
Good news for us ad allergy sufferers but I'm sure some big conglomerate will step in and make Shine an offer they can't refuse.

Greg S

Posts: 1,607   +442
This sounds awesome. Unless it just turns into both parties paying the network providers.

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,669   +7,574
A great idea, particular since the original internet was supposed to be free from business of any kind. Advertising that pays is great, but since we now pay hefty fee's for internet connections through these IP's, it's about time somebody did something to get the monkey off our backs!