December 3rd, 2008

.tel Domain Names – Your Easy Internet Calling Card

Domain names ending in ".tel" have gone on sale today.  These domain names, like "", are entirely new and function much differently than all other domain names, like those ending in ".com" and ".net".  How are these domain names different?

  • The are not for hosting web sites or receiving email messages
  • Once you have a ".tel" domain name, you can configure your personal or organization’s "contact" information into the domain at the domain registrar
  • The contact information is stored in the "DNS" and is visible to anyone on the internet just by referencing your new domain name.  This includes mobile devices.
  • Any changes you make to your contact information are immediately visible to and "synchronized" with anyone who looks.
  • You do not have to design any web pages or graphics to have professional contact information published in a standard way.

Thus, the ".tel" domain names allow you to publish information about yourself or your organization in a standard way that is accessible to any internet-enabled device.  You can give anyone your ".tel" address and they can obtain all of your contact details and related information and save it locally for future use.  This works exceptionally well on mobile devices, like iPhones, and is also very good for organizations without any other kind of web site.

What contact information can be stored?

With a ".tel" domain name, you can publish quite a lot of different kinds of information. For individuals, this includes:

  • Tags and keywords people can use to find you
  • Home, work, FAX, VoIP, and mobile phone numbers
  • IM handles and screen names
  • Email addresses
  • Links to your favorite social networking sites and blogs
  • Geographic location data

For businesses, this includes:

  • Phone numbers for your office, customer service, sales, etc.
  • Mobile, FAX, VoIP and other numbers
  • IM handles and screen names
  • Email addresses
  • Web and FTP site addresses
  • Corporate web site addresses, portals, blogs
  • Links to your partners and affiliates
  • Geographic location data
  • Text that can be indexed and searched for, such as keywords, descriptive text, and addresses

How is it stored?

The contact information is stored in a domain’s DNS via NAPTR records.  Technically, any domain could have these records; however, use of a ".tel" domain

  • Gives you a simple user interface for entering and managing this information
  • Auto-generates a web site for viewing this information if you visit your domain via a normal web brower
  • Provides a standard domain suffix that implies that all of this information is available in this way.

What about search engines?

The ".tel" domains are indexed by all major search engines.  Additionally, there is a special global business directory: "telpages".

And privacy?

There are privacy settings in your contact information area that determine what information you have entered is public and who can view the private data.  You can use a process called "Friending" to request private data from others … these requests have to be allowed or denied via a confirmation process.

How can you sign up?

You can sign up for these domains at The Telnic Registry (LuxSci does not currently sell them and we have no affiliation with The Telnic Registry).

  • Businesses with registered trademarks can apply for ".tel" domains between October 3rd, 2008 and February 2nd, 2009.  During this "sunrise" period, domain registrations cost $399.99.
  • From February 3rd to March 23rd, the "landrush period", domains are available to everyone, but are still expensive — $149.99/yr.
  • From March 24th on, domains are available to everyone for $19.99/yr.

So, unless you are in a hurry, want to be sure you get "just the right domain," or want to protect your trademark, you will probably want to wait until the second quarter of 2009.  Just don’t forget about the ".tel" domains — soon, everyone will have one and it will be a standard way to look up information on businesses.

3 Responses to “.tel Domain Names – Your Easy Internet Calling Card”

  1. Jeff Paul Says:

    Hi, I applaud your blog for informing people, its just sometimes people seem to get themselves tied up in unnecessary knots over something that’s very simple.

  2. Ana Says:

    We have a website, a mobile website (.mobi), phone, fax, etc. We now just secured our .tel name so we can let the customer decide how they want to contact us. In these times where everyone is in a rush… it really came at a perfect time. I hope it does well; I think the video should win an award.

  3. Internet Security Says:

    Interesting post ! you may find internet as means to communicate and interact across the globe , but research suggests cases on internet hacking and internet misuse have increased with global technological challenges.

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