Mobile operator Three to block ads at the network level


Ad blocking has been going on for years, but it’s risen in popularity a lot lately, thanks in part to Apple allowing ad blockers into the App Store. Popular content blocker Adblock Plus has been having conversations with advertisers recently too and is looking to discover just why people block ads on the web.

In an interesting move, mobile network operator Three has announced that it will be using ad blocking technology created by Israeli startup Shine to block adverts on a network level.


The technology will be implemented by Three UK and Three Italy initially (there are plans to roll it out to other Three Group operators in the future) and will, the company says, give customers "more control, choice and greater transparency" over which adverts appear on their devices.

While advertisers will, naturally, be unhappy with this move, the goal isn’t to eradicate advertising on Three devices entirely, just block the worst examples.

The company says it has three principal goals when deploying ad blocking:

  1. That customers should not pay data charges to receive adverts.  These should be costs borne by the advertiser.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Tom Malleschitz, Chief Marketing Officer, Three UK, says: "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".

Photo credit: Tashatuvango / Shutterstock

3 Responses to Mobile operator Three to block ads at the network level

  1. Lucius says:

    Advertising companies sell users privacy.
    Ad-block companies give away for free a false sense of privacy to users (which get ads blocked but keep input / authorize 3rd party access to all sort of personal information on social networks and apps) and then sell themselves to advertising companies when successful.
    No one works for free, and users does not donate (enough, unless you have wikipedia level brand awareness) and pirate instead of paying for sw and (whenever possible) services.
    Money comes from advertisers, advertisers wants users data, advertisers eventually gets users data.
    Plain and simple, users gets for what they pay for: if you are not the customer, you are the product.
    Don't come here to cry for your own fault, people.

  2. ATL_VM says:

    The assumption that this company thinks they can block ALL ads at the network level is ridiculous.. Ads do not announce themselves you don't know what IP or site they are coming from UNTIL they hit the network..

    So this company is lying to its people.. it's IMPOSSIBLE to stop ads at the network level. PERIOD. Class action lawsuit up next...

    On the other hand its the UK.. not exactly the sharpest country on the planet.. so maybe we should take this with a grain of salt...

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