Who will own - demos of the new dot-mobi loom at 3GSM Barcelona

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 12 February 2006

Only six months ago, the world was agreed: the idea of having a dotmobi top level domain to match dotcom and dotnet was "daft" - and this week, ICANN and the other conspirators are agreed that it should go ahead, and has universal support. And it will be demonstrated here in Barcelona this week. And what will Jerry and Sandi [left] think?

Jerry and Sandi are the owners of the domain. Will they want to go mobile? It's not clear. Actually, neither is it clear exactly what will be demonstrated here this week, at least, not from the announcement

What is clear, is that the people who came up with the idea are pleased with their idea. The GSM Association loves it: "Dotmobi's sunrise launch is an important milestone in the path towards making internet access from mobile handsets easy, quick, reliable and rewarding," said Ameet Shah, Chief Strategy and Development Officer of the GSMA.  "We are delighted our members have the opportunity to be in at the very start of something very exciting," he added.

Contrast his excitement now with reactions six months ago, and this now-forgotten comment from Gartner vp Phillip Redman: "If you're a service provider, we don't think that a top level domain is an answer to any of the problems that you're having today," and adding: "The answer isn't having another extension; the answer is having more applications and more capabilities for supporting mobile devices."

The new domain will be administered by mTLD - a joint venture between Nokia, Microsoft and Vodafone, based in Eire. It will provide "recommendations" rather than standards (founders have strongly denounced the idea that mTLD will enforce standards) and yet, somehow, claims that its presence will ensure that users will be sure of good Web browsing standards by .mobi registered sites.

There is one obvious beneficiary likely: the GSM Association. It was beaten to the registration of by Jerry and Sandi - Bible fans - who will now face the challenge of proving that they, and not the GSMA, are the holders of the trademark.

And GSM Association members, along with CTIA members, have a head start on registering so the question may never arise.

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