.tel domain launch, the next mobile story

Since a few days domain names with the .tel TLD are available for registration. After a sunrise and landrush period it’s possible to register your personal .tel ID for less than $20.

Why buying a .tel domain?

A .tel domain is not like other domain names. These domain names are hosted by “special” .tel hosting providers and a .tel website looks totally different. Since this domain is released for mobile devices, it’s not possible to create your own custom website. What you get is a kind of personal profile page where it’s possible to add personal (contact) information, links and custom text.

Next to this information it’s possible to show “private” information which is accessible only by “friends”, yes there is also a social idea behind the .tel domain. People can send messages too each other and become Friends. All communications are done though the .tel control panel or the interface from telfriends.tel website (you need to join that site too). The idea is that people are able to access your personal site on a mobile phone with the ability to choose the way how to contact you (Phone call, e-mail, SMS, MMS, Skype, etc.)

How does it work?

If you register a .tel domain the name server point to the .tel hosting platform from your registration provider or his partner. I guess a domain transfer is not that easy because all data on your .tel website is stored inside the DNS. To enter your data you have access the control panel provided by the .tel hosting provider.

It looks like that a lot of domain names are already registered and there is also a lot of endorsement about the .tel domain. While people using more and more mobile devices to access the Internet, has this way of communication maybe a market. Telfriends is working now but need really more functions for social media sites like MySpace, facebook Linkedin etc. I’m sure if more people will register a .tel domain the whole idea has a future.

Register your personal .tel domain

Several ICAN credited registrars offer the .tel domain for registration (Dynadot, Name…).

Update 1st march 2012
I decided to discontinue my current .tel domain names. There are many other ways to put your personal or company information online, like about.me or Google+. It’s very hard to do some SEO for your .tel website and that way the traffic is also very low. I will save this year the registration fee and buy bottle of red wine :).

8 thoughts on “.tel domain launch, the next mobile story

  1. nice one … but what is the benefits of that if one can’t create own custom website?

  2. Hey Deepak,

    .tel sites are for mobile devices, just a “new” kind of ID for people or companies. We will see if this become some new standard… if you like to help with that register your own .tel domain ;)

  3. Just found this summary on the joker.com website:

    All existing Top Level Domains use the DNS in this traditional way. However, the .tel does not communicate with web content or email — it enables communication with people. It therefore requires an approach to storing contact information directly in the DNS for which Address records are inappropriate, since an Address record cannot identify a phone number or a VoIP service address, such as a Skype or Yahoo! Messenger.

    The .tel will allow contact information to be stored directly in the DNS so that when a device performs a query for a .tel domain (i.e., AdamSmith.tel), the DNS will not respond with an Address record, rather it will return the contact information directly to the device, which enables the click-to-communicate functionality.

  4. I’m not sure I like this domain. It’s nice that they’ve created a place where you are guaranteed mobile accessibility, but I think I’d rather develop for mobile on a different TLD. You can’t add features, you can’t distinguish yourself, and you can’t create the unique presence that is required on the net. This is basically just a phonebook – but more difficult to navigate. Do they have a searchable index?

  5. Hi Jeff,

    they need to do a lot of stuff of course, at the moment to provide only access to a few protocolls.

    If you check Telfriends.org you will see that they try to make more possible using social media…

  6. If contact info is contained in the DNS how secure would this be?

    Also I agree with #3 it would be nice to see (in this day and age) this sort of innovation accompanied with the likes of social networking or personalised web space. In fact, as an idea I would reccomend a website to be generated on the purchase of a new phone i.e New Phone > Free .tel domain > personalizable(?).

  7. i thought .mobi was for mobile devices. i have a few mobile sites. im gonna have to get the .tel s before someone buys them up

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