Thursday, May 25, 2006

Mobile Internet Domain Goes Online

TechNewsWorld writes that "the new Internet top level domain ".mobi" went online this week, promising mobile device users a better, more reliable Internet experience with sites ending with the domain designed specifically for the smaller screens and other restraints of handsets.:

Roger Entner at Ovum said, "Technical innovation is running away from .mobi. It's a great thing, it's just five years too late."

According to the article, ".mobi registration was opened this week, with a sunrise registration period wherein mobile industry association members and legitimate trademark holders can get a .mobi version of their Internet addresses. The domain name, which drew marquis registrants such as Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO), and Microsoft (MSFT) this week, was created by dotMobi, a company formed by tech and wireless giants including Ericsson (ERICY), Microsoft, Samsung, T-Mobile Latest News about T-Mobile and Vodafone (VOD)."

Ovum's Entner thought the "new TLD may be useful for organizations that must tailor their sites to limited bandwidth and device capabilities. However, the trend is toward more bandwidth and more powerful mobile devices, which can deliver better mobile Internet browsing without a special TLD."

He added, "On an EV-DO or HSDPA (wireless) network and a powerful handset, that handset can render [Internet pages] independently."

Entner also believed that "the increasing amount of multimedia capabilities and content for handsets makes the wireless Web somewhat less appealing." He said, "Music and video certainly are more appealing than the static Web. With more powerful devices, you can do that."

Ira Brodsky at DataComm pointed out that "Mobile handset users who browse or otherwise use the Internet are only a fraction of all mobile device users, but their numbers are growing very rapidly."

He remarked that "web sites specially made for mobile users, particularly a large site containing lots of information, might be useful, but he added he did not see why another Internet domain would be required." He added, "I would think this is a situation where both sides are right."

Brodsky said "In the future, anybody ought to be able to jump on a Web site with a mobile phone," and highlighted "the challenge of making mobile content relevant to users, who when mobile, are typically busy with something else."

"People don't browse from a mobile phone, they're usually doing other things," he said.