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DT: Advertisers should subsidise mobile data

A top Deutsche Telekom executive has said companies such as Google and Facebook should subsidise subscriber’s mobile tariffs as their advertising “eats into” data allowances.

In a blog on LinkedIn, Tomasz Gerszberg, SVP technology strategy, governance and programs, said the future model of mobile advertising delivery needs to be changed. The FT reported that Deutsche Telekom said the article was written in a personal capacity, and it has since been deleted. Deutsche Telekom has 150 million mobile subscribers worldwide.

Gerszberg had proposed online advertising intermediaries would have to start paying carriers for the use of their mobile data networks. This advertising would be “zero-rated” for mobile subscribers, meaning that it would not consume any of their monthly quota. Implicitly it has to be assumed carriers could block the ads of providers that refused to pay.

Gerszberg’s proposal also comes at a time of concern among online publishers about the rise of adblocking. The number of people using adblocking software surged 40 per cent to almost 200 million over the past year, according to Adobe. In June, Apple said it would allow iPhone users to block ads in its Safari web browser. As well as Deutsche Telekom, other telecoms groups are also considering ways to implement adblocking software at network level.

Meanwhile, marketers will spend almost $69 billion this year on mobile ads — more than triple the sum they spent two years ago — according to research group eMarketer.

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