Early this year, several leading companies from the mobile industry — including Microsoft, HP, and Nokia — requested that a Top Level Domain (TLD) be created for web sites that are intended solely for handhelds and smartphones.
These sites will have smaller graphics and be designed for the lower-resolution screens on mobile devices.
This group hopes the .MOBI TLD will create business opportunities for companies servicing mobile customers. It also hopes it will spur the development of compelling new mobile services and applications. According to a statement from the group, their aim is the simplification of the Internet experience for mobile users and increasing the ease of use and speed of delivery of mobile Internet services.
The .MOBI TLD has now received preliminary approval from the Corporation for Assigned Names and Number (ICANN), the group picked by the U.S. government to oversee Internet addresses.
The sponsors of this TLD will now begin the process of working out the details with ICANN on how the .MOBI domain will be allocated and administered.
If the two groups can’t come to an agreement on these, ICANN still has the option of declining the application, which would be the end of the .MOBI domain.
The group that originally made the proposal intends to form a registry company to manage the distribution of the new mobile TLD names. At this point, it appears that these will only be open to companies, not individuals.
Other new TLD given preliminary approval recently include .post, .travel, and .jobs.