Multiple European mobile carriers may soon be planning to block all types of advertising on their networks. In a report out of the Financial Times, at least one mobile carrier has installed ad blocking software in its data centers and plans to turn it on before the year’s end. This ad blocking software, developed by Shine, an Israeli start-up, prevents most types of advertising from loading in web pages and applications that have been provided by Google and other companies.
Roi Carthy, chief marketing officer of Shine, told the Financial Times:
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.
Shine is supposedly working with a number of operators, including one that currently has over 40 million subscribers. The unnamed carrier plans to initially launch an advertising-free service for users on an opt-in basis. This carrier is also supposedly toying with a more radical idea it calls “the bomb”, which would go into effect across its entire network of millions of subscribers at one time. “The bomb” would be put in place to specifically target Google.
If the mobile carrier decides to blanket block ads, questions would be raised regarding net neutrality since mobile operators must treat all data that flows through their networks equally. The mobile carrier could always ask customers to opt-in to ad blocking, but carriers should never have the ability to force that upon its users.