Domain name provider turns users on to ‘mobile web’

9 Feb 2006

The international top-level domain provider headquartered in Dublin has published the first in a series of its Switch On guides for web developers aimed at ensuring the best possible internet experience for the mobile user.

In October last reported on how a major consortium of technology industry giants – including Microsoft, Nokia, Vodafone, 3, the GSM Association, Hewlett-Packard, Orange, Samsung and Sun Microsystems – decided to locate its headquarters for the management of the world?s first mobile domain name (.mobi) in Dublin. The operation will employ at least 15 people.

The organisation, named mTLD (mobile Top-Level Domain), aims to create a registry service to the .mobi domain, which will provide a trusted platform for consumers to browse the web, communicate or download digital content on wireless devices whilst on the move. MTLD’s services include the registration of .mobi domain names and creation of a framework for wireless data services called style guides.

The consultative edition of the first of its Switch On guides provides mandatory rules and highly recommended best practices for content developers and mobiles supporting website owners, ensuring that their websites can be optimally accessed by any mobile device.

The domain, set for commercial launch this summer, will revolutionise the relationship between the internet and mobile devices by the clear identification of made-for-mobile internet sites and applications.

Most website content and services on the internet today do not work predictably on mobile devices. The result has been slower adoption of the internet from the mobile consumer. With the domain name, consumers on the go will have full confidence that a website or service will work correctly and reliably on their mobile device.

“Building on the recent advancements in enabling technologies for the mobile internet, provides users with trusted internet addresses that are optimised for use on mobile devices,” said Reinhard Kreft, global head of industry initiatives and standards at Vodafone. “We are confident the Switch On guides will make the development of sites easier. As this will generate considerable amounts of new, high-quality mobile content it will benefit the mobile user and transform the experience of mobile web-browsing worldwide.”

Neil Edwards, general manager of mTLD, said: ?Many existing internet protocols and practices are grounded in desktop PC-oriented services and were not designed with a mobile device in mind, which has led to a less than optimal performance for the end user.

“The guides are designed to preserve the best possible user experience while retaining the open standards-based approach of the internet. Many years of research from world-class companies have gone into producing the Switch On Web Browsing Guide,” Edwards explained.

By John Kennedy