19 March 2004 An unexpected competitor has emerged to the high-profile bid to create a ‘.mobile’ standard for accessing the Internet from portable wireless devices.
The rival application, submitted to domain registry ICANN, comes from Telnic, which is proposing a ‘.tel’ top level domain (TLD) that would encompass email, text and voice calls, as well as Internet browsing. This all-inclusive approach, under the title ‘Telname’, is more suited to smartphone and other combination devices that analysts forecast will eventually supersede mobile phones.
Telnic seems to have a much broader concept of a mobile TLD than just a mobile-specific Internet. The Telname website (www.telname.org) gives more details about its ideas than its .mobile rivals’ have done so far.
Indeed, although the .mobile coalition boasts an impressive array of partners — including Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Sun Microsystems, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone — it is rather short on detail.
Vodafone had expected that .mobile would be the only bid for a mobile domain, according to a spokesman. But the intention of “about getting the industry together” under .mobile has been dealt a blow by Telnic’s bid, which threatens the development of a single wireless Internet standard. Standardisation is commonly cited as a prerequisite to the success of any new technological initiative.
Telnic has refused to name its partner or source of funding for the venture. A bid to ICANN costs $45,000 alone and the extent to which the concept has been developed seems to indicate significant investment.
Telnic made an unsuccessful bid for a mobile TLD during the last round of domain issuances in 2000, in partnership with Nokia, Siemens, Ericsson, Orange and others.