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Technology > Mobile Devices > Android

Remove Carrier Popup Ads

Published By: lankanmon
On: 6 June 2014 at 4:24pm


You can skip to "The Solution" heading, if you don't want the background or details.

Recently, while travelling, I picked up a new prepaid mobile SIM card to use for the duration of my visit. I was quite surprised with the technology within these cards, because the card automatically suggested APN settings which made the transition from my primary carrier quite smooth.

A problem that I soon began to notice was that my phones screen would turn on from time to time and a dialog popped up with some form of ad. Usually: "For $x.xx a day, get household tip." It also had my carriers name on the front.

This was quite unusual for me, not having received anything like this before. This soon became a problem. Ads would pop up while using my device or worse, when it is off. The idle device would be sprung from sleep by the ads and then would stay on until the display timeout. Imagine this happening a couple times an hour. This did not bode well for the battery, so I reduced the screen timeout until I could solve this problem.

In my findings I have determined that these messages are being triggered from STK or Sim Toolkit. The problem is that the STK is an app that does not have a UI and is not functional to the user. It is a system application that acts as a buffer or messenger between the user, sim card, and carrier.

I have also noticed that the STK package ( stk) can have associated (system generated) apps that extend the STKs functionality to the user.

The Solution

I want to point out that I am using an Android Device and that these instructions may vary for other devices, and possibly even between Android Devices. My device - Samsung Galaxy Note 2. The same principles should apply to other devices.

The STK package, as a system application, can generate it's own apps. It does this to make a carrier specified app on the device. Generally the hardest part is finding the app. It is normally hidden from the app drawer. The fastest way to find it is to use the built-in Google search bar.

Search for the name of your carrier. An app should appear with the carriers name + Services (or some mix of that).

- Once you find it, open the app and follow the menus until you find an option labeled ‘Activation’.

- Select that option and in the following menu, hit ‘Deactivate’.

- You will be prompted if you are sure. Press OK.

And thats it. You are now free of those annoying carrier ads.

Let me know if this helped or if you have found a different solution to the problem.

Good Luck!





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