Internet domain names make the mobile leap
EASY access to the internet via your mobile phone came a step closer this week when a new set of domain names went on sale, aimed specifically at the mobile internet market.
The new .mobi top-level domain names aim to create a whole area of the internet dedicated to content that you can access via a mobile phone or a personal digital assistant (PDA).
With the move away from older wireless access protocol (WAP) services on mobile phones towards third-generation (3G) technology, many experts have blamed the lack of actual online content for the slow take-up of internet services via mobile phones.
The new mobile domain names - which were originally announced last summer but are only just becoming available - have the backing of some of the biggest players in the online sector, with Microsoft and the GSM Association supporting the roll-out.
Mobile phone operators T-Mobile, Vodafone, 3 and Spanish giant Telefonica are all supporting the move, as are several big manufacturers, including Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung.
The .mobi top-level domain names are currently in a "Trademark Sunrise" period, designed to give trademark holders the opportunity to buy domain names relating to their business.
The sunrise idea is designed to beat "cyber-squatters", who pre-register popular domain names or those similar to existing sites. In the past, this practice has often stopped trademark holders from registering the domain names to go with their brands. The sunrise period was first used with the roll-out of .eu top-level domain names.
The new .mobi extensions will go on sale to the general public and companies without trademarks on 28 August. The domain names first went on sale to companies within the mobile industry on 22 May.
The domain names are expected to appeal to companies that are proving content aimed specifically at mobile phone and PDA users.
"Primarily, the new domain names are aimed at those companies that are wanting to provide web content," says Philip Hannay, a corporate assistant at solicitors Macdonald Henderson who specialises in intellectual property. "But really any company that wants to protect its trademark or domain name and block out anyone else trying to get in to their market can use them.
"When the registration of domain names began people didn't foresee the problem of other companies using brands in domain names. Now the registrars are taking the bull by the horns by offering these new sunrise periods.
"If you do register during the sunrise period then the cost is higher - because there's a cost involved for the domain registrar in checking that you are a trademark holder.
"However, it's not to be discouraged, as this represents a good opportunity for businesses to secure the rights to the domain name that they want."
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: South east
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: West