Three is set to become the first UK mobile network to introduce an ad-blocking feature across all their mobile operations.
The operator has partnered with a company named Shine, which will provide Three's UK network with ad-blocking technology, as well as other European countries like Italy.
Tom Malleschitz, Three's UK chief marketing officer, has named a number of reasons for introducing ad-blocking. He believes that customers should not have to use 4G to load adverts, as they are paying for that data, and should be able to choose how they spend it.
The company is also worried that some adverts may be malicious and could be trying to collect customer information without their knowledge. Three wants to ensure that customers only see adverts which are relevant to them, and that they've agreed to receive.
This means Three will not be eliminating mobile advertising completely. Instead, the company will attempt to filter ads to ensure a “better, more targeted, and more transparent mobile ad experience” for its customers.
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On this subject, Malleschitz said: "Irrelevant and excessive mobile ads annoy customers and affect their overall network experience."
"These goals will give customers choice and significantly improve their ad 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."
Three will be working closely with the advertising industry to ensure their customers get the best mobile experience possible. However, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) is worried this might drive publishers to charge mobile users to view content they would normally have been able to access for free – thanks to adverts.
Alex Kozloff, the IAB's marketing and communications director, said: “The IAB believes that an ad funded internet is essential in providing revenue to publishers so they can continue to make their content, services and applications widely available at little, or no cost.”
“We believe ad-blocking undermines this approach and could mean consumers have to pay for content they currently get for free.”