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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Will .mobile lead to a .mobi renaissance?

By Duane J. Higgins, ceo

There are upwards of 1000 new domain name extensions about to be poured onto the Internet scene. Many have speculated on who will be the big (registry) winners in this new gamble by ICANN (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) who administrate the domain extensions and proposed the massive expansion as well.

We have an avalance of new top level domain name extensions coming down the slope.  So what we are undoubtedly  looking at a paradigm shift in the way that domain names are viewed and utilized in our global society. Who will be the largest beneficiaries of the deployment of the new domain name extensions? Some have speculated that .web and .shop are destined to be big winners.

Who will be some of the big winners?

Will it be .shop, .web, .book, .mobile or any number of a thousand others?

I would like to take a look specifically at .mobile and .mobily.  The domain extensions .mobile and .mobily have been applied for as part of ICANNS reorganization of the Internet. Of course, the domain extension .mobi has been in existence since 2005. In fact, .mobile has been applied for (to run the registry) by three different entities. Suffice it to say that we will likely soon be looking at the three domain extensions (.mobi, .mobile and .mobily) widely available on the Internet for purchase and use.

(* .Mobily Mobily (Arabic: موبايلي‎) is the trade name launched in May 2005[2] by Saudi Arabia's second Telecommunications company. (from Wikipedia post).)

What is the point of all of having three extensions that have essentially the same meaning and content?

You might look here:

According to a recent Cisco research report. The number of smartphones, tablets, laptops and internet-capable phones will exceed number of humans in 2013. 

These numbers already suggest more than 8 billion Internet connected devices by now.  Probably more. Now these 8 billion Internet connected devices mean alot of different things to many people. However, to the domain name industry (because that's what I write about) it will likely mean many (hundreds of millions) more domain name registrations one way or another. Meaning, depending on what the new registries/operators have planned for the new and old extensions.  The basic reasons for the likely explosion in (mobile related) domain names are as such- in order of importance:

Defensive registrations by companies seeking to prevent domain "squatting" or misuse and protection of intellectual property.
Domain name speculation (investments)
Company/website names and development. (such as domain portfolios)
Other uses (such as email addresses, mobile ids or security related)

How many new domain name purchases could (mobile specific) domain names involve? Projections are that billions and billions of mobile devices (accelerating at a rapid pace) are connected to and connecting to the Internet.  Remember that domain names are cheap. That ten dollars/year for some useful application is pretty inexpensive. One billion domain names sold at ten dollars/year is ten billion in revenue/year. Not bad for any new domain name extension (such as .mobile) or even .mobi which many have already left for dead and is which is likely to see a renaissance.

To the .mobi domain extension I say congratulations and welcome to your new life.

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