Monday, October 26, 2015

Ending the Ad Regime: Removing Ads on Mobile Partner

If you're a mobile broadband (dongle) user like me, you'll probably have a relatively new version of Mobile Partner or comparable application installed on your system. While the newer versions are really nice (they allow voice calls, USSD operations, direct top-ups and whatnot), providers like Mobitel and Dialog seem to plague their customized (dongle-embedded setup) versions with ads. Every time you connect to the Internet, the software interface gets updated with an ad, which can sometimes consume as much as 1 MB. While this may not seem a lot, it certainly adds up if you have the habit of making and breaking your connection frequently.

Fortunately, getting rid of these annoying ads is also quite easy (at least for Mobitel guys). Here I outline the method to disable ads, on a typical Mobitel Broadband software installation (bundled with the Huawei E3131 dongle sold by Mobitel) on a Windows system:

  1. Open the Mobile Partner folder at the installation location. This would usually be C:\Program Files (x86)\Mobitel Broadband.
  2. Open SysSettings.xml using a text editor.
  3. Locate the following section at the end of the file:
  4.   <webview_flash>
        <zone1>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkfive.html</zone1>
        <zone4_1>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkone.html</zone4_1>
        <zone4_2>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linktwo.html</zone4_2>
        <zone4_3>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkthree.html</zone4_3>
        <zone4_4>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkfour.html</zone4_4>
      </webview_flash>
    
    and comment out the contents of <webview_flash> tag by adding <!-- and --> at the start and the end, so it would read like:
      <webview_flash>
        <!--<zone1>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkfive.html</zone1>
        <zone4_1>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkone.html</zone4_1>
        <zone4_2>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linktwo.html</zone4_2>
        <zone4_3>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkthree.html</zone4_3>
        <zone4_4>http://selfcare.mobitel.lk/MyAccount/linkfour.html</zone4_4>-->
      </webview_flash>
    
  5. Save the file, and close and reopen Mobile Partner if it's already running.

This shows a blank space on the connection tab after you initiate the connection, instead of ads. If you don't like it, you can add any preferred URLs inside the <zone> tags, instead of commenting them out altogether. For example, the following configuration would display the HTML file located at C:\connected.html in the software's connection tab when a data connection is made. (Don't forget to replace the \ characters in the path, with /.):

  <webview_flash>
    <zone1>file:///C:/connected.html</zone1>
  </webview_flash>

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