Digicel Named First MNO to Block All Mobile Ads

Shines before and after visualisation of ad-blocked mobile sites and apps
Shines before and after visualisation of ad-blocked mobile sites and apps

Back in May, we reported on mobile operators plans to block any mobile ads passing through their networks, possibly in an attempt to open negotiations with the tech firms whose OTT services consume mobile data without compensating the operators.

The company responsible was Shine Technologies, which offers MNOs an ad blocking solution that can be installed at their data centres, filtering out all ad content before it reaches subscribers devices. It sounded like a death knell for mobile ads, but while Shine claimed it had multiple customers on board, it couldnt name any names.

Jamaican telco Digicel Group has changed all that by outing itself as Shines first customer, and announcing it will be deploying the ad blocking solution across its MNO brands in the Caribbean and South Pacific.

No further details have been announced, but Digicel is positioning the deployment as a way for its subscribers to save on data usage, as well as a move against OTT service providers. The companys release explicitly states that it is seeking revenue-sharing agreements with the likes of Google and Facebook.

“This is about giving customers the best experience and about getting access to broadband to the unconnected and allowing them to benefit from the opportunities it affords,” said Digicel chairman Denis O’Brien. “Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all – but they put no money in.

“Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves. That’s unacceptable, and we are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets and play a real role in improving the opportunities for economic empowerment for the global population.”