To .tel or not to .tel

by Anthony Richardson on July 1, 2009 · 1 comment

in Technology, Voice Over

Now there’s a question.

The .tel domain suffix became available to the great unwashed (that’s you and me) on the 24th of March, after a long, drawn-out, “sunrise period” (basically some time in which the big trademark holders like Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Virgin and the like can get their hands on their own brand name without it being bought by a spotty teenager demanding £5 Million to sell it back to them).

Aaah, the heady days of the late 90’s when “pc.com” was allegedly sold to Intel for about £5 Million – by a spotty teenager!

Anyway, the .tel domain suffix promises to be something slightly different.

Currently, most domain names are just “mapped” over an IP address where the website is being hosted (bear with me, this is simple stuff). For example, www.coca-cola.com is actually mapped over the IP address: 216.64.210.28. So if you just type 216.64.210.28 into your browser’s address bar (at the top) it’s exactly the same as typing in www.coca-cola.com – if that makes sense? You can just click on the links or IP addresses above to prove the point.

The reason for this is simply one of convenience – it’s a lot easier for us mere mortals to remember, for example, www.virgin.com rather than 213.174.199.102 or www.google.com rather than 74.125.127.100 although they lead to exactly the same place. And of course it allows the website owner to transfer his or her domain name onto a different IP address if necessary (in case a server packs up or they fall out with their hosting company etc.) and we, the website visitors, are none the wiser.

So it goes without saying that the IP addresses above may not be strictly accurate at the time of reading!

Well, the .tel domain name is slightly different. You can’t just “map” your shiny new .tel domain name over an IP address, infact all you get for your £15 +VAT is a username and password for a website where you simply enter your business or personal details.

Not very exciting.

Until you realise that you are actually entering your information into the actual DNS (Domain Name System) rather than just mapping your domain over an IP address.

So what?

Well, that means that the contact information anyone enters on their .tel is universally available – in the same format.

So mobile phones, PDAs, netbooks, VOIP services and specific software applications, for use on websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn and Ecademy can have access to all this contact information – in the same format!

This could truly turn out to be a global phone directory or, as a colleague of mine put it, “…global LDAP…” (and as a side benefit, it’s great for search engine optimisation).

So what are you waiting for? Click HERE for my favourite and highly recommended domain name registrar, SimplyNames.com and order your very own .tel domain name now! – and if you want more detailed information on the .tel domain name, check out: www.telnic.org for some cool videos.

Oh, and if you want to see what a .tel website looks like, check out: OverVoice.tel – and you can see (and hear) my “.tel story” HERE.

And finally, before I forget – it takes 12-24 hours to get your login, username and password from your domain registrar so please be patient!  🙂

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: