Mobile domain names available to public


27 Sep 2006

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The Dublin-based body responsible for registering the world’s first top-level domain dedicated to mobile — dotMobi — has revealed that registration of mobile domain names are now available to the general public.

“The general availability of .Mobi domains represents another step forward in making the mobile internet a reality for millions of consumers around the world,” said Andrew McLelland, director of projects and marketing at Interactive Media in Retail Group (IMRG), the industry body for e-tailing, representing all electronic channels in the marketplace.

The .Mobi domain opened for business from Dublin on 23 May last. The organisation responsible for the domain .Mobi is backed by a consortium of tech industry giants including Microsoft, HP, Vodafone, 3, the GSM Association, Orange, Nokia, Samsung and Sun.

The .Mobi organisation recently extended the period for trademarks and owners of intellectual property to register their domain until 22 September to accommodate additional brands. The sunrise period for registering mobile domains for registered trademarks began on 12 June last and was due to close on 28 August.

It is understood that hundreds of global brand names like BMW, American Express and Ziff Davis have signed up for the .Mobi domain.

“We think the .Mobi designation has the potential to help consumers find the content they are looking for on their mobile devices,” said Roger Neal, BusinessWeek Online senior vice-president and general manager.

.Mobi has established best practices, style sheets, standards and tools to make sure the .Mobi registration experience is consistent and easy to use for both consumers and site designers.

To make creating web sites for mobile internet functional and reliable, the .Mobi Switch On Guide for Web Development contains rules and best practices based on open standards and ensures that web sites can be viewed and navigated by any mobile phone.

“In the past, using the internet on a mobile device presented huge obstacles for the consumer,” said Neil Edwards, chief executive of dotMobi. “We’re creating a link between mobile operators, internet content providers and the millions of mobile users seeking a consistent, reliable and enjoyable Internet experience.”

The list of ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) accredited registrars for .Mobi domain names can be found at: http://dotmobi.mobi/registrar.

According to the GSM Association, more people in the world have access to an internet-ready mobile device than a PC with internet access and by 2008 researchers expect 1.3 billion people to be connected to the internet through mobile devices.

By John Kennedy