Why Digicel blocking Google ads may be the rise of Digicel App World


“Companies like Google, Yahoo and Facebook talk a great game and take a lot of credit when it comes to pushing the idea of broadband for all — but they put no money in. Instead they unashamedly trade off the efforts and investments of network operators like Digicel to make money for themselves”

Digicel Group chairman and owner of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien commenting on his company move to block Google Mobile Ads

Digicel is vexed with Silicon Valley, particularly Google.

In a move that may be the most upfront challenge to Ad-revenue based Silicon Valley startups, Digicel is blocking Google ads and requesting that Google pay for access to the Network.

According to Digicel Group chairman and owner of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien, the free ride is over. Silicon Valley Startups that serve ads to Digicel customer will now be blocked thanks to Shine, an Israeli Startup that specializes in software that blocks mobile ads.

Geezam - Why Digicel blocking Google ads may be the rise of Digicel App World - 01-10-2015 LHDEER

Specifically, Shine’s tech blocks picture, video and audio ads in mobile browsers and Apps. However, ads that are embedded within the software code of the App and not an HTML API call will remain unharmed.

So basically, Google Ads get blocked, but Facebook ads are ok….for now. So why is Digicel taking action?

Digicel blocks Google ads – Improving Customer Internet Experience by saving the Data

Digicel’s Denis O’Brien owns a lot of stuff aside from Digicel, including Independent News & Media, a few Irish Radio Stations and other interests. But Digicel is his mainstay, a company he founded in 2000 after selling Irish mobile business Esat to BT (British Telecoms).

Now 15 years on and 31 markets later, Ireland’s riches billionaire is in a battle of his life against Silicon Valley Companies that take advantage of Telecom Providers need for content and services to attract customers to make money from Apps and Advertising.

Digicel’s argument is sound; you the customer, are being robbed of at least 10% of your Data Plan. Denis O’Brien thinks Google should pony up to gain aces to their Networks and their loyal customers, quote: “That’s unacceptable, and we as a network operator are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets.”

After all, it’s all about you, the Extraordinary customer that’s one of 13.6m subscribers across the Caribbean, Central America and the South Pacific and their other 31 markets. It’s truly annoying when you have to wade through all those image pop-up ads, Videos ads that play suddenly without warning in Twitter and Audio ads that start introducing you to the latest artiste without giving you an easy way to stop.

So Digicel is taking a stand, to quote Denis O’Brien: “As a network operator, are taking a stand against them to force them to put their hands in their pockets and play a real role in improving the opportunities for economic empowerment for the global population.”

Not only does it rob you of a few precious and very expensive megabytes off your Data plan, but mobile ads from Google also ruins that excellent website you’re visiting or that game App you were playing.

However, if the Silicon Valley companies that make their revenue from Mobile ads want to continue Advertising on their Networks, then they should pay for the privilege of doing so, helping Digicel to expand and upgrade their Network in the process.

In case you think Digicel is picking a battle it can’t possible hope to win, you are very wrong, dear reader. Digicel is Saving the Data, Kim Kardashian Style!

Apple makes ad blocking possible – Telecom Provider may follow suite and block ads

Apple, maker of the highly successful Apple iPhone 6S that move 13 million devices over the weekend of Friday September 18th 2015 as reported in 13 Million Apple iPhone 6S Sold as Apple iPhone 7 Rumours have begun.

Apple now allows users to block ads using Ad-blocking extensions in their Safari Web browser. This move isn’t surprising, as Ads also ruin the web-browsing experience for Apple iPhone users.

Marketing companies must be wringing their hands in fear, as their US$69 billion a year Mobile Advertising and Marketing Industry is now about to go up slowly in smoke on Digicel’s Network,  at least according to the stats from eMarketer.

But these ads, which have already ruined the browser experience on desktop computer, is also making it bad to enjoy those megabytes that you paid hard cash to use. The result is that Ad-blockers, aside from video games, are one of the most oft-downloaded Apps, with even Android users downloading them to block annoying mobile ads.

But that’s just smartphone OS makers. Telecom Provider are also considering taking similar brash action to block Advertising content. Despite the regulatory headache of sifting through customer data to spot and block ads, potential loss of Advertising revenue and the risk of alienating Silicon Valley Startups, they have public opinion on their side.

Mobile ads are the smartphone equivalent of email spam or even unsolicited postal mail or fax! So Digicel and Apple has taken one small step for Telecom kind.

Digicel vs Google similar to 2014 VoIP Fight – Digicel has everything to gain and nothing to lose

This fight is no different from Digicel battles with VoIP Provider Viber and Nimbuzz plus others back in July 2014 as parlayed in my article OUR Requests Additional Information from Digicel and LIME in VoIP Matter.

Digicel and LIME are, by and large, are slowly winning this battle of attrition.

It’s a battle of attrition, as Telecom Regulators within the Caribbean region need to decide if they want to increase Telecom Cess Revenues. This can be done by forcing VoIP to become licensed Telecom Provider.

Otherwise they can sit and watch it go down the drain by allowing VoIP to operate freely as argued in How Network Neutrality and International Calling can thrive as TATT mediates VoIP Blockade by Digicel and LIME.

In a similar manner, customer stand to gain if Digicel blocks ads, which no one wants to see, saving them money on their Data plans in the process.

Digicel plans to expand Digicel App World – Why Designer and Developers will be needed very soon

To add further to the Molotov cocktail that Digicel has lobbed at Google, Digicel can expand their own App store, Digicel App World by merely having an App Developer and Design Completion, thereby displacing Google Play Store Apps that have ads in them.

Geezam - Why Digicel blocking Google ads may be the rise of Digicel App World - 01-10-2015 LHDEER

Then they can turn around and offer Advertising and marketing on those Apps, making money not only from the sale of Home-grown and developer App but also marketing and Advertising revenue as well.

Already Digicel has Digicel App World only has four Apps for Android, iOS, Blackberry and Windows phone smartphones. With a team of in-house developers developing tailored business Apps as well as a competition, similar to Digicel Rising Stars to unearth App Designer and Developer Talent in Jamaica and the Caribbean, Digicel can easily fill this App store to brimming within a few months.

These developers and designers would make Apps tailed to their DL750, DL800 and DL900 line of smartphones, making money not only from increased Data Plan purchases and Call Credit, but from direct App sales.

But best of all, and sweet revenge for Digicel Group chairman and owner of Digicel Group, Denis O’Brien; with those Apps in a growing App store and a loyal Design and Developer Base he could have local and international Marketing and Advertising companies pay Digicel for Mobile Advertising and marketing via in-App marketing within their website and Apps.

Were such a scenario played out, the increased traffic coming the Digicel App World, would allow Digicel to stake a claim for a slice of the US$69 billion a year Mobile Advertising and Marketing Industry that is the source of Google’s wealth.

Expect other telecom Provider to Get up, stand up, Bob Marley style and be counted by defending their customer right to an ad-free browsing experience. Best of all, financial befits await the Telecom Provider by making their own App stores as well as having Silicon Valley startups having to pay up or find other means of making money.

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Lindsworth is a Radio Frequency and Generator Maintenance Technician who has a knack for writing about his work, which is in the Telecoms Engineering Field. An inspired writer on themes as diverse as Autonomous Ants simulations, Power from Lightning and the current Tablet Wars.