TLD for Mobile Devices Approved by ICANN

Rhett Pardon
LUXEMBOURG CITY — ICANN has given the go-ahead for the .mobi top-level domain for cellular phones and other mobile communications devices.

Monday’s agreement with sponsor mTLD Top Level Domain Ltd. allows the domain names to become available during the first half of 2006.

There will be a 90-day “sunrise” period to allow companies with trademarked names to secure a .mobi domain. After that sunrise period, the domains will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ericsson, Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile, and Vodafone, among others, will administer domain name services for .mobi.

“Mobi” is short for mobile phones in the Netherlands, but it is a nickname that is used around the world. Belgians use “GSM,” Germans “handy,” French “portable” or “mobile,” Britons “mobile” and those in the United States use “cell.”

ICANN, meeting this week in Luxembourg City, still is evaluating four additional proposed sponsored domains: .asia, .mail, .tel-pulver and .tel-telnic. In early June, ICANN approved an application for the .xxx domain with Toronto-based ICM Registry.

MTLD’s contract with ICANN will run 10 years. MTLD, a consortium, is based in Dublin.