Telnic, the UK-based company that is promoting .tel, has just got an approval from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), a private nonprofit group that oversees technical aspects of the internet’s address system.
Individuals can use .tel domain name to store contact informationÂ—telephone numbers, links to websites, email addresses, instant messaging names and even identities for virtual games, like Xbox Live or Second Life, directly into the DNS. Businesses can use their .tel urls to set up contact service hubs constructed to store all the different contact details of those who buy their service, and manage the connections to which ever devices are live and connected at the time.
Storing the data directly in DNS could add immense value. Since it is DNS-based, a .tel lookup is much quicker than loading a typical webpage. Also, whenever you update your data in DNS, the change goes live immediately. As a result, rather than sending a note out to all of your contacts, like some contact management services, the update is seamless.
Traditionally, search engines are forced to read entire webpages and guess the keywords. The .tel uses the data you supply to the DNS to tell search engines exactly where the keywords are, thereby improving your control over your search results. The traffic generated by a .tel lookup is so small that it remains inexpensive for consumers. The data is also presented in such a simple way that the .tel easily integrates into address books and allows for advances navigation on all mobile devices.
The real test, however, lies in taking it beyond this and creating a Google of contact information. To take on online directories, yellow pages and networking sites, Telnic will need to be innovative and move fast. To begin with, Chalandon is now talking to telcos to see how it could be integrated into their services. It needs to build a critical mass and a few third party applications integrated very well into it to create value that a Facebook can’t before the world dials into the ‘online business card’.