Can Carriers Make Advertisers Pay Data Charges?

Here in the states, imagine if Verizon Wireless and T-Mobile began offering ad-blocking features to distinguish their respective services.

Impossible, you say? Well, it’s already happening in Europe.

With the help of an Israeli tech startup named Shine, European mobile carrier Three is planning to block what it calls “excessive, intrusive, unwanted or irrelevant” ads on its network.

The move sets the stage for a battle between carriers -- which argue that the ads hog excessive amounts of bandwidth -- and big ad providers like Google.

Raising the stakes even higher, Three is arguing that advertisers and ad networks should actually be paying data charges for their ads.

“We don't believe customers should have to pay for data usage driven by mobile ads,” stated Tom Malleschitz, Chief Marketing Officer at Three UK. “Irrelevant and excessive mobile ads annoy customers and affect their overall network experience.”

Exactly how Three will get advertisers to pay up is not at all clear. “Over the coming months, Three will announce full details of how it will achieve these objectives,” the company said in a statement.

Such an arrangement is not entirely unprecedented. Ad giants like Google and Microsoft have reportedly paid Eveo to circumvent its popular Adblock Plus ad-blocking technology.

Will U.S. carriers jump on the ad-blocking bandwagon? If so, they would face ample resistance. Among other issues, there is the matter of Net neutrality, which requires carriers to treat all data equally.

Still, I think it’s only a matter of time. 

2 comments about "Can Carriers Make Advertisers Pay Data Charges?".
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  1. Jill Wagner from MMI Consulting, February 20, 2016 at 3:34 p.m.

    This is the most interesting 'news' in a long tme.  The positioning of what is free, what I have to pay for, access versus content, or free to me because I am the product, has blurred.  Cool to see the business model is still in flux.  Wonder how the rules and regulations are different in the UK to get away with it.  

  2. Terry Rushbrook from The Marketing Shop, February 20, 2016 at 3:48 p.m.

    In the UK and the rest of Europe, you only pay for outgoing voice calls and messages: incoming are not counted on your minutes or message limit.  On this basis, the carriers should either carry the cost of incoming data or make the advertiser pay.  Why should the recipient pay for something they did not ask for and do not want?

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