European Commission Approves Telco Ad Platform Plan

European Commission Approves Telco Ad Platform Plan


The European Commission has given their blessing to a plan by four of Europe's biggest telecom firms to venture into ad-tech, led by Google and Facebook owner Meta. Under this initiative, these carriers will create a platform for sharing anonymised user data with other businesses for marketing and advertising purposes.


Privacy (UK: /'prIv@si:/, US: /'praI-/) is the ability of an individual to restrict access and use of personal information about them. This right can take many forms, such as being informed about how and why a company uses a piece of personal data, as well as having the power to refuse or delete such data.

Democracy requires citizens to exercise their right to freedom and self-determination. Additionally, it provides the basis for other rights such as freedom of expression or protest against government action.

The European Union is an excellent example of a government that empowers citizens by giving them the authority to enforce laws against breaches in privacy, as well as holding companies accountable for not abiding by those regulations. Furthermore, it encourages political coalitions to champion legislation designed to strengthen privacy protection.

Furthermore, the Commission has passed laws to safeguard minors' privacy and prohibit platforms from showing ads based on their personal data. Furthermore, it has enhanced transparency surrounding how ad data is collected and utilized.

Regarding ad targeting, the European Commission has given approval to plans by Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone to form a joint venture in order to develop a digital marketing platform that will enable brands to recognize users on their websites and apps and tailor content accordingly.

This will be done via a unique, non-reversible digital token that only those with permission can view. This token will be generated from the user's subscription to the telco network and only those brands and publishers who have signed up can utilize it for advertising.

According to the Commission, their plan aims to give users "a quantum leap" in control, transparency and data protection over their information. It specifically addresses privacy concerns caused by online giants such as Google and Meta (Facebook).

The JV has already been tested in Germany, with further trials planned in France and Spain. It has been designed from the outset to adhere to EU data protection policy standards such as GDPR and the e-privacy directive.


Transparency is the ability to demonstrate to the public that what you're doing is honest and trustworthy. This can be accomplished in various ways, such as adhering to ethical or legal guidelines, managing a business efficiently, or adhering to governance best practices.

Companies often demonstrate transparency by publishing a platform for others to use. This could be either an app store or social media management tool with monetizable features; alternatively, companies could utilize open source software programs for competitive advantages.

The European Commission recently approved a telco ad platform plan that would see companies like Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone Group take a 25 per cent stake in an entirely new company based in Belgium, managed independently by independent management with oversight provided by shareholders appointed supervisory board. This joint venture would be led by independent management with oversight provided by shareholder-appointed supervisory board members.

The joint venture would create a digital advertising platform that utilizes pseudo-anonymous tokens, which are generated and linked to users based on their mobile network subscription. These tokens don't contain any personal data that could be used for tracking users and cannot be reverse-engineered.

This would enable more targeted ads on a user's phone without sacrificing privacy, and give users the power to opt in or out of brands using their data. Furthermore, users have control over which telcos they share their info with, providing consumers with peace of mind that these companies are acting in their best interests.

Telcos believe this will allow them to forego relying on user consent for every ad they deliver, an initiative which is sure to draw criticism from privacy activists.

Telcos are creating ad-targeting infrastructure as an alternative to tracking cookies, which have become ubiquitous online advertising tools. Unfortunately, tracking cookies can often be misused by ad tech firms who use it for targeting people based on location or websites visited. Furthermore, these companies often violate European Union data protection and privacy laws which guarantee users their data remains protected.


Last week, four of Europe's largest telecom firms formally informed the European Commission of a joint venture they intend to launch to create an innovative digital advertising platform with privacy at its core. Each carrier -- Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone Group - would own 25 percent stake in this new venture which will be headquartered in Belgium with independent management overseen by a shareholder-appointed supervisory board.

Telecoms have taken the first step toward taking on Google and Meta, the two dominant online advertising markets that have been dogged by accusations of anti-competitive behaviour. The move also provides carriers with new avenues to monetize their audiences and fund network development - something which has long frustrated them.

Telcos have announced plans to create a new kind of digital ID for mobile and fixed broadband users that gives them control over how their data is used by brands, publishers, and other third parties. The platform will enable consumers to opt in so that they only see ads they want. Trials have already been conducted in Germany; currently the carriers are looking into expanding this platform commercially into France and Spain.

In addition to competition concerns, telcos must ensure their AdTech platforms are built correctly and adhere to all existing data protection laws. This has been a major obstacle for some telcos who attempted to enter this space but have so far been unsuccessful.

Telcos have built their own AdTech platforms, while others have acquired AdTech companies. However, only a few successful telco-AdTech combinations exist such as Alticel, Ericsson and T-Mobile.

Telcos must also consider how to ensure privacy compliance for their new platforms, which may seem straightforward but is far more challenging than anticipated. This industry has many stringent privacy regulations to abide by and it's essential that none are broken.

Telcos seeking success in this space must partner with experienced developers to construct an AdTech platform that aligns with their business objectives and integrates seamlessly into existing systems. They must be willing to invest in a long-term partnership with someone who understands their requirements, working together on making sure their platform can expand along with their telecommunications business grows.


Innovation is a crucial element in telecom companies' efforts to transform their businesses. Transformation requires the imagination and courage to envision how things could be different, as well as the commitment to implement those changes across the organization.

Innovation can open up new sources of growth or boost efficiency within existing operations. It makes it simpler to attract and retain top talent while improving customer experience.

For instance, the iPhone revolutionized cellular technology by fulfilling consumers' long-standing desires for portability and speed.

While it can be tempting to focus on innovation that generates short-term financial gains, a more holistic approach should be taken when developing new products and services. Consider how innovation can create long-term value for a company's customers, investors and employees by considering its long-term effects.

Companies should take a design thinking approach to innovation, empathizing with their target audience and understanding the difficulties they are facing. Doing this will enable them to create solutions that work well and avoid misguided ideas with poor user experience.

One way to innovate is by building custom AdTech platforms instead of purchasing them from third parties. This gives telcos ownership over their data and features on the platform, giving them full control over their information while building it with features tailored towards their business objectives.

Telcos must stay ahead of data and privacy laws by offering AdTech solutions in both CTV and OTT spaces, which allow them to leverage their existing data assets to generate new income streams.

Telcos can also construct AdTech platforms and data clean rooms, which enable brands and publishers to exchange first-party data securely in accordance with privacy laws. This data can then be utilized for various purposes such as ad targeting, lookalike audiences and campaign performance analysis.

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