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O2 follows EE's footsteps, considers mobile ad blocking

Soon after news broke out that EE is looking into blocking ads network-wide, it seems as O2 has similar thoughts.

According to Business Insider, O2 is in "advanced stages” of looking into blocking ads on its mobile network. The report says that the company is testing certain technology that can block ads.

O2 managing director of digital commerce Robert Franks told Business Insider: “We are absolutely looking at [network-level ad blocking] technology … We are looking at these technologies to see if they can help our customers with some of the bad practices and disruptive experiences that are happening.”

“It is not in an advertisers’ interest to spam customers or do things to create a terrible experience. If the way to raise the bar is to look at these [ad blocking] technologies, whether through a mobile network, or a combination of apps and browser extensions as Apple is doing to address some of the behaviours these [ad tech] intermediaries are executing, I think that’s fine. But I don’t see it as a polarized debate between ‘do you have advertising or don’t you have advertising’.”

Advertisement on mobile networks has been under a lot of pressure as of lately, mostly because it has the image of “user experience ruiner”. Both EE and O2 are testing how they can remove ads which wouldn’t affect user experience, which means not all ads will be blocked.

Vodafone, the third big carrier in the UK said that it doesn’t have any plans to start blocking ads on its network.