Digicel has signed a contract with Israel’s Shine Technologies to deploy the startup’s ad-blocking software on mobile networks in its Caribbean and Asia Pacific markets. In a joint statement, the companies said the software will first be used in Jamaica, with plans to roll it out to other national markets across the Caribbean and in the Asia Pacific region in the coming months. Ad-blocking software has been used extensively on desktop computers for a number of years but mobile use has been less widespread and Digicel is the first mobile operator to sign up with Shine, whose shareholders include Horizon Ventures, the investment fund of Li Ka-shing.
In their joint statement, the partners specifically targeted Google, Facebook and Yahoo, saying they were taking a stand and deliberately blocking advertising on websites owned by the internet giants in an attempt to force them into giving up a share of their revenues. “With ads using up as much as 10 per cent of a customers’ data plan allowance, this move will allow customers to browse the mobile web and apps without interruption from unwanted advertising messages,” they said. Digicel chairman Denis O’Brien was even more direct, accusing the companies of “unashamedly trading off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves.”