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.