Econet Wireless Group signs ad blocking deal for its networks, subscribers set to benefit from data savings

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Last month when Econet unveiled its new look it also pointed out that it was considering network level ad blocking as part of plans to help subscribers.

That idea has since become reality. Econet Wireless Group and Shine, a US/Israeli tech company focused on ad blocking technology announced a deal that will see the introduction network level ad blocking on Econet’s mobile networks across Africa.

No specific date has been set for the introduction however Econet Wireless Zimbabwe will be the first to introduce this technology. The ad blocking will be turned on automatically.


According to the statement accompanying this development Shine’s technology is expected to restrict ad technology which is depriving subscribers of up to 40% of their data plans. Econet has cited adverts as some of the contributors to the “disappearing airtime” phenomenon.

Regarding the deal, Econet Zimbabwe CEO Douglas Mboweni said

We are delighted that we have taken the lead in ensuring that customers have control of unsolicited ads. This will lead to quicker loading and cleaner looking web pages free from advertisements, lower resource waste in terms of bandwidth and memory. This goes a long way in solving the issue of bill shock resulting from unsolicited adverts. In addition there are privacy benefits gained through the exclusion of the tracking and profiling systems of ad delivery platforms.

Those are strong arguments. The prospect of subscribers enjoying a better internet experience along with the removal of the risk associated with unsolicited content as well as the safeguarding of privacy enforces ad blocking as a right.

However, the practice has also drawn debate around its impact on content creators who rely on advertising revenue to sustain their operations. It seems, though, that this will give the rise to an evolution of business models for all businesses relying on advertising.

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11 thoughts on “Econet Wireless Group signs ad blocking deal for its networks, subscribers set to benefit from data savings

  1. as long as the adverts are relevant l don’t mind… the automatic aspect is not on… It should my own choice to opt in or out of the ads…..

  2. We will just block those with adblocking from our sites. Tiri kurarama nawo maads aya. So no thanks Econet.

    1. then you will loose all potential customers on Econet around Afrika!

      I have been using ad block for long. Recently lm noticing websites blocking my access unless if l stop adblock. Am l bothered, NO, l just click the next available website.

    2. This was a long time coming. Plan and be innovative. If you weren’t wise enough to prepare for it, then we’ll be waving good-bye to your website soon. Don’t watch from the sidelines like Zimpost and Telone, hoping that someone or some legislation will make you go back to the days you were profitable. At least Telone woke up in the nick of time…

  3. This is going to affect a lot of startup websites who are being solely built to rely on ads as a means of financing their life

    1. I’m sorry to say, you aren’t a startup if you are relying solely on ads for revenue.., and probably not relevant anyhow… If you need ads to fund your webhosting, then you should look into free webhosting providers like , think outside the box!! A significant number of Zim websites are just ad-farms that aggregate content from other sites, and re-post it on their site will the sole objective of making money from ads without adding value. If your website has value, sponsorship, partnership and donations aren’t hard to find.

  4. How long till they start blocking sites they dont want people to have access to with the excuse of the ad blocker doing it and cant be helped (like they block whatsapp when they want) or change adverts to their own stock which they will sell. This is a very dangerous path they are walking down.

  5. i hate this from a net neutrality perspective and yes how are content providers like techzim supposed to survive if this happens

    its a long and slippery slope ultimately

    also i thought it was in econet’s interest to let you view the ads because its your data balance you are spending not econet’s…

    if theres an opt out i will be happier but i don’t like the precendent this will set, both for net neutrality and censorship in general

    1. Net neutrality and ad-blocking have no relation. Ads are unsolicited traffic, ad-blocking is the process of removing or eliminating this unsolicited traffic. Net neutrality, on the other hand, is related to the valuation of access to specific webservices or websites.

      As much as you seem to like ads, how often do you see an advert that’s actually relevant to you. On this page, I have zero relevant ads, I wouldn’t know if the ad providers are using targeted ads or they are fixed ads. And, when you do find ads relevant to you, how often do you click them? Generally, revenue is only made when a visitor clicks through an ad.

      I think the complaining Zimbo attitude is being spread where it doesn’t apply. Very soon you’ll be starting #ThisAdBlocking.

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