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EE wants to help customers block intrusive adverts on smartphones

No one likes adverts, but they do help fund various services and online properties (including Mobile Nations!). While many see them as a way to support the content they enjoy, there are times when adverts can be intrusive or downright obstructive, especially on mobile. UK mobile operator EE is stepping in to lend customers a hand.

The mobile network is looking into technology that will allow smartphone owners to control advertising they see when browsing the web. It's reported that such a rollout could lose the mobile advertising market up to £2 billion ($3 billion). The network would allow customers to restrict the quantity and type of advertising that hits their mobile hardware.

The company will look at options for creating tools that would enable the blockage of certain forms of ads, including banners, pop-ups and videos that automatically play. It should be noted that not all advertisements will be blocked. Just those that would usually make you scream at the display and curse the company or product being featured.

EE CEO Olaf Swantee told The Sunday Telegraph:

"We think it's important that, over time, customers start to be offered more choice and control over the level and intensity of ads on mobile. For EE, this is not about ad blocking, but about starting an important debate around customer choice, controls and the level of ads customers receive. This is an important debate that needs to happen soon. That's why we've kicked off a strategic review internally to start considering our plans."

Swantee states that not all advertising is bad (and many would agree with the view), but the market is certainly open to abuse. Would you welcome the move by operators to intervene and help prevent the more annoying adverts from reaching your mobile browser?

Source: The Sunday Telegraph

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds is Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him over on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

41 Comments
  • I welcome this. ironically, Mobile Nations websites, among many others, are practically un usable due to over intrusive ads via the phone browser-on WP anyway. The app is great, but that website..man alive.
  • ^This. I love the website, but the AutoPlay of videos and the ads that cover the whole page on mobile are very annoying. The "Keep scrolling to remove the ad" or the ones that have the tiny little x in the corner (just small enough to where it's easy to click the ad instead of the x) types always just piss me off enough to where I don't care to open it in mobile anymore. Banners are fine, they're the least intrusive.
  • I agree with you 100%. This site is unbearable to use without ad blocking.
  • So true! Whenever I see an article on WC that say "see the article on your browser" I close out of it. No article is worth putting up with the horrendous placement of their ads on the browser.
  • This website is garbage on mobile. Ad hell.
  • Windows Central should make it possible to also get a paid app so that: > ​support the dev and the Mobile Nations > no advertisements in-app > content seen earlier than website viewers??
  • Yep.  It's sites like Windows Central that drive companies and users to use ad blocking. Overzealous and excessive ads mean users will find ad blocking that leads to no ads and no revenue.  
  • I agree, Mobile Nation sites are very unusable when browsing on IE or Edge on Phone or smaller tablets like my ThinkPad 8.
  • Its just as worse on desktop
  • Auto running video is a pain and using unnecessary data for people on a limited plan.
  • I hate that!
  • I hate it that Facebook and Google+ are doing it as well :(
  • 1080p AutoPlay ads frustrate me to no end.
  • Nothing is free . You are the product. You don't block the adds, the adds block your minds.
  • Ads are fine. Place your ad picture link on the page and if I'm interested I'll click it. Play auto vids or pop up over the stuff I'm trying to read or seed my device with spyware and it has the reverse effect. It makes me want to get rid of the ads. Not without good cause, either. This approach is ONLY about intrusive ads. Not about destroying the proper ad based model we all love. So read the article and you'll make less silly comments.
  • A mobile company that wants to help the consumer? What's the catch?
  • Less Data used.
  • They don't remove any adds, they just replace them all with EE adds :-)
  • Lol sound like what rogers tried with @home http://www.michaelgeist.ca/2008/07/rogers-supported-search/
  • I hate to tell you but Windows Central has the most obtrusive and obnoxious advertising of the major IT sites. On my Lumia 920 it can take 2 minutes to load all the page elements. I try not to read it on the phone.
  • I agree, they have gone too far.
  • As a website owner I fear this will help put a nail in the coffin of many websites :'(
  • This should inspire site owners to do a better job providing more content and less intrusive nag-ware on their sites; at least if they still want to reach out to mobile customers.
  • Ads are fine. Place your ad picture link on the page and if I'm interested I'll click it. Play auto vids or pop up over the stuff I'm trying to read or seed my device with spyware and it has the reverse effect. It makes me want to get rid of the ads. Not without good cause, either.
    This approach is ONLY about intrusive ads. Not about destroying the proper ad based model we all love. So read the article and you'll make less silly comments.
  • The website that does ads right is Reddit. No popups, no videos, no lag. It's super clean and I am fine with those types.
  • So focus on selling phones from other companies than Google. Will solve all problems eventually.
  • To many pop up adverts means I won't visit that website again unless I really really need to. Some websites just overdo it with annoying pop ups & auto playing videos.
  • Windows Central is one that overdoes it.
  • I'm a little conflicted on this. First I get a annoyed at all these people using add blockers and then happily consuming the content from the "free" websites that they visit. Moralistically they're just thieves. On the other hand, sites that autoplay video, especially when I'm on my mobile just need to die.
  • Easybib has gotten so bad, it will actually won't allow you to access your cited works until you disable Flash. Because the page lags so badly.
  • Then, how about a small fee to access the site.....ad free.
  • I'd happily pay a subscription to stop seeing adverts on mobile nation sites.
  • Yeah like those sites that have an advertisement at the bottom of the, plus one that takes up the whole screen and then an auto play video at the same time. And on edge that isn't cool because it takes 10 years for the page to load, then takes ages to actually click the x's, then suddenly you have an advert booming out because your media and apps volume was set at 22. Would much rather pay a little big extra a month on contract to not have to bother with that rubbish!
  • iOS 9 already does that by allowing content blockers.
  • Pot... kettle... Really ironic that this post is on WC. As others have pointed out this site is borderline unusable without an ad blocker. I've stopped coming altogether on my phone because it takes minutes for everything to load. On the browser, if I don't turn on ad blocking, the page usually crashes at some point but my CPU usage gets pegged as well. I totally get that many sites like this depend on ad revenue, but if the ads are the primary thing being served up and the content is secondary, what's the point? If the user experience is degraded so much it forces them to install an ad blocker, doesn't that defeat the purpose? Edit: One more thing I wanted to rant about.... that god awful Metro PCS ad that you can't seem to dismiss... that ad alone has made me want to NEVER do business with Metro PCS. From an advertiser's standpoint, if your ads are so annoying they make people not want to do business with you? Doesn't seem like money well spent.
  • All those Firefox ads with "web browser slowing you down? Switch to Firefox" make me want to have a little chat with their PR department. Because those slow down my browser. Completely turned me off of Firefox forever.
  • Only website which places the ads without annoying is the Facebook
  • Funny enough, I think of FB as one of the worst offenders. Only thing worse is when companies put adverts on the comments section/newsfeed.
  • Lol I swear ive seen ads for them in the battery super saver app everytime I've opened the app since installing
  • The only time I want to block ads is when they actually damage the experience or waste my time. For example, reddit does ads like they did in 2005, which uses approximately no bandwidth. This is good because there are not obstructions, little delay, and no distractions. But websites like
    SpanishDict
    EasyBib
    WindowsCentral
    Outlook.com
    YouTube
    Use a TON of bandwidth, to the point where the entire page can hang. Additionally, web hackers are learning how to embed files in the standard video format, so even good* advert company scanners can't always detect malicious code in web video adverts. It's now getting to the point where I'm going to use an ad blocker on all sites. :/
  • Speaking of ads the most recent xb1 update fixes ads