Digicel deploys mobile ad-blocking technology against Google, Facebook

BY KARENA BENNETT Business reporter TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Digicel has implemented ad-blocking technology to its network in a bid to force internet companies, such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook to pay for ads being displayed on the broadband.

Friday, October 02, 2015    

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS giant Digicel has implemented ad-blocking technology to its network in a bid to force internet companies, such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook to pay for ads being displayed on the broadband.

The Jamaican-based company is the first mobile operator globally to institute such technology against major internet companies and Jamaica is the first Digicel market to take on the new initiative. The move comes at a time when popular, new apps are already making it easy for users to block ads via their own accord.

Chairman of Digicel Group Denis O'Brien in a release stated that the company has partnered with Israeli start-up, Shine Technologies, for the deployment of ad-control technology on its networks across the globe to ensure a better experience for customers without interruption from unwanted advertising messages from the internet companies.

He added that the interruption of pop-up ads from the companies uses as much as 10 per cent of a customer's data plan allowance, and in some cases may cause connectivity problems to the internet.

"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," O'Brien stated.

"That's unacceptable, and we as a network operator 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," he added.

The telecommunications company, which provides a comprehensive range of mobile communications, business solutions, cable TV, broadband, and other related products and services to customers in 31 markets in the Caribbean and South Pacific regions, has started the initiative in Jamaica and will be expanding the service to other Caribbean countries and the South Pacific over the next few months.

Digicel shares a mobile subscriber market of more than 50 per cent in 20 markets, as determined by internal company data. The company's three largest markets include Papua New Guinea, Haiti and Jamaica.

Shine Technologies will be the first operator worldwide to deploy mobile ad-control technology at the network level. The equipment blocks display and video ads inserted by ad networks in both mobile browsers and apps. The company's home page reads "Ad blocking is a consumer right. Full stop. Who's monetising your pipe?" It also states: "Carriers can now stop ad tech dead in its tracks, protecting infrastructure and delivering an advertising-pollution-free user experience for subscribers."

Digicel is now hoping that the internet companies will enter into revenue-sharing agreements with the company to assist in the reinvesting of network connectivity across the globe and ultimately bridging the division between digital companies.

The company explained that internet connectivity continues to be one of the most costly considerations in operations, having invested over millions in fibre network upgrade, including a $600 million investment in Montego Bay.

Chief executive officer of Shine Technologies, Ron Porat, stated that the company is dedicated to putting a stop to the abusive behaviour of mobile advertising towards network operators and the consumers.

"We believe it is now time for everyone in the digital advertising ecosystem to look to the future and start having a conversation about how better and sustainable digital advertising can be created to foster stronger, mutually beneficial relationships that are based on transparency and trust," he said.





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