Major mobile domain name to base HQ in Dublin


20 Oct 2005

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A consortium of technology industry giants – including Microsoft, Nokia, Vodafone, 3, the GSM Association, Hewlett-Packard, Orange, Samsung and Sun Microsystems – has 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, siliconrepublic.com has learned.

The multinational joint venture has appointed a former vice-president of VeriSign – Neil Edwards -as general manager of the Dublin-based MTLD Top Level Domain Ltd. Edwards has been described as a seasoned executive with a career spanning 18 years across a number of global technology companies. His first objective is to establish the MTLD headquarters in Dublin and a satellite office in Washington DC, with the aim to be operational by early next year.

“.Mobi is a product that will revolutionise consumers’ internet experience on their wireless device,” said Edwards. “Consumers using the internet on the wireless devices today are stuck with the sites dominantly built for a PC and wired access in mind. I am excited to be part of the .mobi initiative, which together with some of the world’s leading companies will significantly improve the mobile internet experience for everyone.”

The organisation 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. These services are expected to be delivered in the first part of 2006.

MTLD was formed in March last year when a memorandum of understanding was signed between the companies and it and was recently awarded the .mobi domain by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names. The founding companies believe that a mobile top-level domain would be a key step in bridging the world of mobility and the internet to the benefit of customers and the entire mobile industry.

“Vodafone has been committed to establishing the .mobi domain since this project’s inception because of the obvious benefits it will bring to mobile users around the world”, said Reinhard Kreft, Vodafone’s director responsible for the MTLD initiative.

“From next year, internet content that has been specifically optimised for use on mobile devices can be downloaded from any .mobi site. This will result in a greatly enhanced customer experience and allow operators such as Vodafone to grow their portfolio of data services,” Kreft added.

Brian Arbogast, vice-president of MSN Communications Platform at Microsoft, explained: “Ultimately, .mobi will enable users to find predictable content and services from the businesses that provide them and that will have positive impacts across the mobile and internet industries”

A spokesperson for the company said: “MTLD will be an Irish-registered company and the expectations are that it will employ at least 15 people.”

By John Kennedy