Three mobile customers to be able to block ads

Telephone company to implement Israeli firm Shine’s advert system across network

The two million customers of Three, Ireland's second-biggest mobile network, could soon be able to automatically filter out adverts when browsing the net on their smartphones, as the Hong Kong-owned group limbers up to roll out ad-blocking software across all of its markets.

Moblile operator Three UK yesterday confirmed it will implement the Israeli company Shine Technologies’ ad-blocking system across its network, along with Three Italy.

“This will enable rapid roll-out of the technology to all other Three group operators,” said 3’s UK press office.

Such software is seen as a major threat to the business models of the big internet ad publishers, such as Facebook and Google.


Mobile operator Three Ireland insisted there is not yet a timeline for rolling out Shine’s software in this country, but the UK statement seems to suggest it is inevitable.

Shine has already signed a deal to roll out its technology across the network of Digicel, the Caribbean network owned by Denis O'Brien.


Mr O’Brien has long railed against companies such as Facebook and Google for selling ads off the back of operators’ network investment, but without sharing revenue with operators.

Digicel has installed Shine’s technology across most of its more than 30 markets, although it has seen some opposition from regional regulators concerned that the selective filtering out of ads breaches the principle of “net neutrality”.

Digicel was the first major operator to instal such technology.

It wants a revenue sharing agreement with the web companies for their ads’ access to its infrastructure.

Mobile operator Three, which is owned by Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing, also an investor in Shine, will reveal more details of its plan “in coming months”.

“Our objective in working with Shine is not to eliminate mobile advertising, which is often interesting and beneficial to our customers, but to give customers more control, choice and greater transparency over what they receive,” said the company.

Mark Paul

Mark Paul

Mark Paul is London Correspondent for The Irish Times

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist