[AI] mobi has to catch up with mobiles
sweety.bhalla at ifciltd.com
Tue Aug 21 01:33:16 EDT 2007
mobi has to catch up with mobiles
IsIt was one of the tech buzzwords of 2006. Called .mobi - similar to .com and pronounced as dotmobi - the domain name indicates that a site will work on
a mobile phone. Given the billions of mobiles worldwide, and millions in India alone, it should have flourished. But figures show that it has lost steam
along the way.
Net4India - one of the major domain registrars in the country - alone expected 20,000 registrations by end 2006. However, it has managed to get only 1,000
registrations to date, according to Jasjit Sawhney, CEO, Net4india.com, who cannot hide his disappointment with the response.
And the Dublin-based Mobile Top Level Domain start-up which started accepting registrations for the '.mobi' addresses last year has so far managed just
about 6,25,000 registrations. Compare this with the over 65 million .com addresses.
The logic for a .mobi was two-fold. To begin with most Web pages aren't designed for cellphones or mobile devices, and hence make for an unpleasant viewing
experience with the pages getting skewed on the cellphone.
Vance P Hedderel director, mTLD, explains: ".mobi is designed to complement other domains, whether .com, .org or .gov. When you access a ".mobi" site, that
site will be designed specifically for mobile phones. It means an end user is guaranteed to have a good experience: the site will display quickly and the
user will see the site as it's supposed to be seen."
"It was a craze at one point of time when everyone wanted a .mobi domain. However these domains are not actively used, even if they have been registered,"
said an official of a global portal who wished not to be named. Sawhney echoes this sentiment: "Big brands particularly registered for two main reasons
- to protect their brand name from being taken by another and a part of future strategy, with the assumption that it might catch on later."
The .mobi domain has experienced moderate success in more developed countries like Korea, Malaysia and other western countries due to their advanced technology.
India is on the growth path. dotMobi (the company) anticipates the demand of .mobi domains will grow exponentially as more and more businesses develop
a mobile strategy and deploy content that meets the needs of users "on the go".
A sanguine Sawhney concurs: ""The response, especially in India, may be weak. However, with an increased sale of better mobile devices and better bandwidth,
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