MOBILE OPERATORS in Europe are reportedly planning to deliver a devastating blow to the advertising industry with plans to block online ads.
So says a report at The Financial Times, which claims that one unnamed European carrier has already installed blocking software from Israeli ad blocking firm Shine on its network and plans to activate it by the end of the year, with its sights set squarely on Google.
An executive at a European carrier confirmed that, along with "several" others, it is planning to start blocking adverts this year, which will initially arrive to customers on an opt-in basis.
Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer at Shine, said: "Tens of millions of mobile subscribers around the world will be opting in to ad blocking by the end of the year.
"If this scales, it could have a devastating impact on the online advertising industry.”
The idea is to specifically target Google, blocking advertising on its websites in an attempt to force the company into giving up a cut of its revenues.
It reportedly won't stop there, as the report claims that operators are also considering a more radical approach, codenamed 'the bomb', which would see ads blocked across an entire network of millions of subscribers.
The FT's source said that 'the bomb' is likely to be risky from legal and public relations perspectives, as EU net neutrality laws force telecoms companies to treat all data that flows through their networks equally.
"Google and other web companies invest heavily in developing these services and in the behind-the-scenes infrastructure to deliver them."
The move is said to be based on operators' frustration with Google's lack of investment in network infrastructure, no doubt exacerbated by the recent launch of its Project Fi service.
It could also be down to telecoms firms looking to make their own moves in the mobile ads space.
Guillaume Le Mener, head of data monetisation at Tektronix Communications, told The INQUIRER: "Concern over being branded a dumb pipe has threatened mobile operators for years as, despite advances in wireless technology and the shift to LTE, it’s the OTT and digital players that have received all the plaudits and stolen the mindshare of the customer.
"But now Verizon's acquisition of AOL has tipped the balance back towards the operator.
"As today’s subscribers do almost everything on their mobile devices, giving operators better insights into their likes and dislikes than any other internet company, the potential for operators to become important players in the marketing and advertising space is only going to increase." µ
Sharkstooth CPU promises some bite
But there's no Play Store access or Google services
Less than sound proposition
More like a portal into your privacy