Not really ‘news’ since ICAAN cleared the final hurtles on 3 June, yet the Web is alive today [Google News] with this story. We reported back in December 2004 on the possible approval of the .mobi domain extension; we guess the admin folks at mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd, based in Dublin, will have their hands full. Apparently their contract was signed with ICANN in Luxembourg last night and new .mobi domains will be on sale in the first half of 2006.
The pointlessness of accessing the Internet through your mobile may soon be over with the creation of a new top-level domain, .mobi. (Ed’s Note: Biting the Hand that Feeds IT, indeed).
“Dot-mobi is all about the mobile Internet,” explained Rick Fant, also director of mobile services at Microsoft. “And past experience of it has not gone down well — WAP for example. We [.mobi] represent over 1.8 billion subscribers but only 12 to 14 per cent have ever used the mobile Internet.” The reason will be known to anyone who has ever attempted to link into the Net using their phone or PDA — very slow, very patchy service. High bandwidth charges and at the end of the day, very little useful information.
The .mobi domain plans to change all that by creating an entire area of the Internet dedicated to providing content for mobile devices. And with Nokia, Ericsson and Samsung, T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3 and Telefonica all part of .mobi, there is plenty of weight behind the plan.
“We are essentially a marketing programme,” Fant said. “We aim to make the mobile Internet extremely visible.” Internet specialists Afilias will be charged with running the service’s back-end. Fant refused to disclose financial or staff details, but fortunately ICANN insisted on them during the application, so we know that mTLD will have between 20 to 25 staff and a budget of roughly $10m a year. Via: The Register.