Telkomsel bungles 3G ad injection

Don Sambandaraksa
22 Sep 2014
00:00

Indonesian mobile operator Telkomsel has begun mass injection of advertisements on sites served up over prepaid 3G connections. This has led to some sites being rendered unreadable and has caused many e-commerce sites to fail entirely.

Telkomsel VP for corporate communications Adita Irawati told TelecomAsia that what they did was legal according to the regulator, the BRTI, the Indonesian Telecommunications Regulatory Authority.

Irawati said that he was in talks with the Indonesian E-Commerce Association and Indonesia Digital Association and hoped that the two organisations would soon release an objective statement on the matter.

Stuart McDonald, author of the Travelfish blog, said that Telkomsel had been experimenting with the ad-insertion man in the middle proxy for a while but had just rolled it out for everyone this week.

He noted that site wide search was broken by the sloppy coding of the ad insertion proxy and that many e-commerce websites such as Wego, Agoda and Priceline simply did not work at all on Telkomsel prepaid 3G.

Aulia Masna, a blogger at dailysocial, told TelecomAsia that the legislators were uninterested and the BRTI was fragmented over the issue of operator ad insertion. Some are calling for more talks on the issue while other regulators such as Ridwan Effendi are vocally siding with the telcos.

An online petition opposed to intrusive ad insertion by the Telkomsel and XL123 now stands at over 14,000 signatories.

The Twitter account @telkomsel said that anyone who did not like the ad insertion could send their mobile number in via the social network to have the ads removed.

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Petition

travelfish blog entry

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