Three mobile ad-blocking coming in June

Trial period will see users go ad-free for 24-hours

Three is set to trial ad-blocking at a network level next month in a move it says will "revolutionise the mobile advertising experience" of its users.

The mobile network said it had made this decision as its customers are "increasingly frustrated by irrelevant and intrusive adverts which use up their data allowance and can invade their privacy by tracking their behaviour without their knowledge or consent".

It follows an agreement it signed with a company named Shine Technologies, which claims it can handle both display and in-app ads, back in February.

Three said it wants to improve customer experience in three key areas through ad-blocking: making the advertiser pay for data charges related to ads, not the user; ensuring customers' security and privacy, and ensuring that the advertising received by customers is "relevant and interesting to them".

Tom Malleschitz, CMO of Three UK, said: "This is the next step in our journey to make mobile ads better for our customers.

"The current ad model is broken. It frustrates customers, eats up their data allowance and can jeopardise their privacy. Something needs to change.

"We can only achieve change by working with all stakeholders in the advertising industry -- customers, advertising networks and publishers -- to create a new form of advertising that is better for all parties."

Customers will be contacted in the near future, asking them if they want to sign up to the 24-hour trial, which will take place on 12 June.

Commenting on Three's decision, Aidan Joyce, CEO of content delivery protection technology company, Oriel, said that while this is "a real wake-up call to publishers and brands to tidy-up their advertising experience", small and medium online businesses could pay a heavy price while platforms like Twitter and Facebook will continue to thrive.

"Three must ensure that it is fully transparent on its ad-blocking policy," said Joyce. "We believe ad-blocking technology is a consumer right and evolutionary defence against an abundance of poor quality advertising. Unfortunately, ad-blocking technology is a blunt instrument which by default makes no differentiation between poor and quality advertising."

"Publishers whose content we access, have the right to protect the integrity and delivery of their web content from any form of manipulation, change or censorship," Joyce continued.

"It's one thing to have a user install an ad-blocker of their own choice as for them to determine exactly what they filter out from a web page but for an operator and Shine technology to determine this for users has to be a contravention of net neutrality laws which exist for Europe," he concluded

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