A group of major players in the mobile computing arena have applied to the Internet Corp for Assigned Names and Numbers for the right to offer a top-level internet domain (TLD) for specific use in mobile scenarios.
Microsoft, Nokia, Vodafone, 3, the GSM Association, HP, Orange, Samsung and Sun are involved with the application to ICANN, which is accepting proposals from potential registries for new sponsored TLDs for a March 15 deadline.
It appears that the main purpose of the new TLD would be to help mobile internet users more easily find content suitable for their devices. Company X could use companyx.mobile for their wireless services, rather than mobile.companyx.com
It’s Nokia’s second crack at creating a TLD just for mobile. The company also submitted an application in the round of proposals ICANN held in 2000, but was denied. Based on current evidence, this second application also seems likely to fail
ICANN’s request for proposals, released in December, specifies that it is looking for a round of sponsored TLDs, which must cater to a specific category of registrant and be backed by a sponsoring organization.
The existing sTLDs are .museum, .aero and .coop. Registrants are authenticated museums, aerospace organizations and cooperatives. Each of these registries is sponsored by an international body that represents that category of entity.
The latest RFP envisages more of the same, saying the chosen TLDs will serve precisely defined communities, comprised of persons that have needs and interests in common but which are differentiated from those of the general global internet community.
While Finland-based Nokia could not be reached for comment yesterday, and Microsoft did not want to comment, their TLD application seems to envisage an unrestricted registrant base, but a restricted set of mobile-friendly content.
A statement released by the nine companies yesterday said: A mobile TLD on the internet creates the opportunity to streamline the deployment of new internet sites optimized for mobile usage.
ICANN does plan to conduct a round of applications from companies who want to run so-called generic or global TLDs, which have unrestricted registrants bases, but not until it has figured out a fair and controlled way to do so.
Several other applications are believed to have been submitted to ICANN for its latest round. Some of them may also propose mobile-oriented TLDs, as many did in the 2000 round of applications.
An ICANN spokesperson declined to say how many applications have been received until after the March 15 deadline. Applying costs a non-refundable $45,000. ICANN expects the evaluation process to last three to six months.
This article is based on material originally published by ComputerWire