Tag Archives: .MOBI

China Approves 5 Afilias TLDs For Sale Within Country

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has awarded 5 of Afilias’ gTLDs licences to allow them to be sold within the country, the registry operator announced last week.

The gTLDs, 3 of which are legacy generic top level domains – .info, .pro and .mobi, and 2 of which are new gTLDs – .red, and .kim.

The approval means Chinese businesses and other registrants are now legally allowed to operate sites in the 5 gTLDs. Only 15 ASCII TLDs (out of over 1000 worldwide) have been licensed so far, and Afilias operates one third of these privileged TLDs.

Afilias provides backend registry services for over 200 TLDs including 195 new gTLDs. For domain names to be legally sold and used for websites within China, each TLD must be licensed by MIIT to be eligible for sale.

Of the new gTLDs, Afilias’ 195 that have been delegated have 899,000 domains under management with .red having 112,600 and .kim 95,100 according to nTLDstats.com, the 29th and 34th largest of the new gTLDs. Of the legacy gTLDs, .info has 5,367m DUM, .pro 227,000 and .mobi 566,000 according to RegistrarStats.com.

“Afilias is proud that the Afilias China Registry Service, which supports these 5 TLDs, has proven to be among the few that are safe enough to meet MIIT’s high technical standards for licensing,” said Kun Qian, Afilias’ China Country Head. “Afilias now looks forward to working closely with our Chinese registrar partners to expand the market with our broad portfolio of globally recognized TLDs.”

“China’s domain name market is already the world’s second biggest, with over 40M registrations,” said Roland LaPlante, Senior Vice President of Afilias, “and more consumer choice will help it grow faster. As the first western registry operator to have licensed, in-country operations, Afilias provides more choices and an extra measure of confidence for Chinese registrars and registrants alike. Companies and others looking to tap new markets and reach broader audiences should add (or switch to) globally appealing addresses such as .info and .pro, which are intuitively meaningful and have more names available than legacy TLDs like .com.”

Afilias believes these 5 TLDs will serve the needs of both start-ups and established organisations that need a globally appealing internet presence to compete in today’s marketplace. Chinese firms typically have names in localised addresses, but many of them have aspirations beyond the Chinese market—these firms need a global address that sets them apart as a bigger player.

Time for a Board-Imposed Moratorium? — .Mobi Trades URS for $Cash by Philip Corwin, Internet Commerce Association

Internet Commerce Association logoOnce again, staff of ICANN’s Global Domains Division (GDD) has used a legacy gTLD’s contract renewal process to impose Uniform Rapid Suspension (URS) on that gTLD — despite the fact that the URS is not an ICANN consensus policy applicable to legacy gTLDs.

And, once again, the registry operator acquiescing to URS is reaping significant financial benefits as a reward for its acquiescence.

The leaders of GDD are well aware that the URS is the subject of an ongoing policy development process (PDP) responsible for determining its efficacy and whether it has been properly administered and – most important – recommending whether or not it should become a Consensus Policy required of all legacy gTLDs, and what appropriate legal and transition arrangements should accompany that potential decision. Yet, as conceded by GDD head Akram Atallah during the Hyderabad Public Forum, their negotiating position for every legacy gTLD RA renewal negotiation is this: “So basically the negotiations are – the registries come and ask for something and we tell them please adopt the new gTLD contract”. In other words, to get the RA changes you want or need you must accept the URS.

On December 23, 2016 ICANN published for public comment the “Proposed Renewal of .MOBI Sponsored Registry Agreement”, with a February 1st comment filing deadline. The notice contains GDD’s standard flimsy and non-convincing rationale that, “The renewal proposal is a result of bilateral discussions between ICANN and Afilias Technologies Limited (the Registry Operator for the .MOBI TLD).” While the discussions were clearly between two parties and therefore bilateral, they took place behind closed doors and out of sight of the ICANN community that is supposed to make the policy decisions that impact it. Further, bilateral does not equate to balanced when the decisive power in these discussions is clearly held by GDD staff, with their ability to approve or deny requested RA modifications as well as hold out financial rewards to compliant registry operators.

The .Mobi gTLD was originally established as a “sponsored” registry to serve global users of mobile phones, but the revised registry agreement (RA) will largely shed that status and generally transition .Mobi to the standard new gTLD RA. Afilias, the registry operator, will see its annual registry fixed fee cut in half, down to $25,000 from the current level of $50,000. In addition, the approximately 690,000 .Mobi domains will become subject to the standard $0.25 per domain annual transaction fee; .Mobi domains are currently subject to a price-linked variable fee ranging from $0.15 to $0.75 per transaction.

We saw this same type of cash benefits for URS acquiescence horse trade take place recently with .XXX. ICA’s comment letter on that RA revision implored GDD to respect the ongoing PDP process, stating:

The 2016 launch of the PDP Review of All Rights Protection Mechanisms in All gTLDs, which is tasked with recommending whether new gTLD RPMs should become Consensus Policy for legacy gTLDs, makes it particularly inappropriate for GDD staff to continue seeking that de facto policy result in non-transparent, bilateral RA negotiations that contravene the policymaking process set forth in the Bylaws… GDD staff should demonstrate their clear commitment to ICANN’s bottom-up policymaking process by ceasing and desisting from seeking top-down imposition of new gTLD RPMs in legacy gTLD RA negotiations until the RPM Review WG has completed its work reviewing those RPMs and its final recommendations – including whether those RPMs should become Consensus Policy — have been acted upon by the GNSO Council and ICANN Board.

Clearly, GDD staff were unmoved by that entreaty and are determined to seek imposition of URS on every legacy gTLD coming up for contract renewal.

As  stated in our .XXX comment letter, these closed door contract renewal negotiations are particularly odious when financial incentives are utilized, resulting in a situation where “two parties with no central role in ICANN’s policy development process are effectively permitted to collude in closed door negotiations on a decision with broad policy implications. With each legacy TLD revision in which GDD staff succeeds in imposing new gTLD provisions that are not yet ICANN Consensus Policy they  create de facto consensus policy, one negotiation at a time. This is wrong and it should stop.”

As noted, this proposed RA, if approved, will affect about 690,000 registered domains at a legacy gTLD by imposing a new gTLD rights protection mechanism (RPM) that was adopted as an “implementation measure” and was not supposed to be applied to any legacy gTLD unless and until it was adopted as Consensus Policy. In retrospect it appears that the “bait” was leading the community to believe the new gTLD RPMs would only be applicable to new gTLDs and off-limits for legacy ones until a PDP changed that, and the “switch” occurred when GDD started pressing them on legacy gTLDs in RA renewal negotiations from 2015 onward.

But the real test of GDD’s illicit strategy of incremental de facto policymaking will come later this year, when the .Net RA comes up for renewal. We have no idea whether Verisign will be seeking any substantial revisions to that RA that would provide GDD staff with substantial leverage to impose URS, nor do we know whether Verisign would be amenable to that tradeoff.

But we do know that there are 15.2 million .Net domains registered at present, and that it would be unconscionable and highly controversial to impose a policy change of this magnitude on the second most populous legacy gTLD when the PDP jury is still out on whether URS should become Consensus Policy. Unlike the lesser gTLDs on which URS has been imposed by contractual fiat, .Net domains constitute longstanding platforms for business and speech dating back to ICANN’s inception, and many command substantial secondary market valuations. If URS is to come to .Net it should only be through community consensus as set out in ICANN’s Bylaws, not a backroom deal.

Further, the publication of any revised .Net RA will likely occur just prior to the time that the RPM Review PDP will be debating whether URS and the other new gTLD RPMs should become Consensus Policy.  So if the revised .Net RA contains the URS that would constitute a gross interference by GDD staff in the ICANN community’s policy process, with severely prejudicial effects. Indeed, it seems likely that GDD staff is seeking to create enough “facts” to dictate the PDP’s outcome.

It is now unquestionably clear that GDD staff lacks sufficient propriety to cease and desist from making policy changes through RA negotiations notwithstanding its corrosive effect upon the perceived legitimacy and primacy of the ICANN policymaking process. The real question of the moment is whether ICANN’s Board will do the right thing and intervene by declaring a moratorium on this tawdry practice until the community members comprising the PDP working group make their own informed and unpressured decision on whether URS should become a Consensus Policy.  

Will the ICANN Board members demonstrate their respect for the integrity of ICANN’s policymaking process, and the sensitivity of the unfolding situation, to understand that continued toleration of this GDD practice undermines confidence in ICANN’s commitment to bottom up, community-based consensus policy development? Or will they continue to cover for GDD staff with narrow technocratic and self-serving legalistic fictions? We shall soon find out.

This article by Philip Corwin from the Internet Commerce Association was sourced with permission from:

Global Domain Registration Growth Slows With .NET In Decline: Verisign DNIB

The number of domain names under management around the world is creeping closer towards the 300 million mark, with four million added, an increase of 1.6 percent, across all top level domains in the third quarter of 2014 taking the total to 284 million according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign.For the 12 months to the end of September 2014, registrations, or domains under management, increased by 18.1 million or 6.8 percent. This compares to the 12 months to the end of September 2012 when registrations grew by 26.4 million, or 12 percent.For .com and .net, while they experienced aggregate growth in the third quarter of 2014, .net is in decline in total registration numbers. The combined total for the two gTLDs was 130.0 million in the adjusted zone for .com and .net, up 10.1 million in two years. This represents a 3.3 percent increase year over year compared to a 7.1 percent increase for the equivalent 12 month period two years ago. As of 30 September 2014, the base of registered names in .com equalled 114.9 million names, while .net equalled 15.1 million names compared to 105 million and 14.9 million respectively two years ago.Looking back at previous DNIBs, .net registrations peaked at around 15.2 million at the end of 2013 and early 2014. But since then the gTLD has shed around 300,000 domains coinciding with the introduction of new gTLDs.New .com and .net registrations totalled 8.7 million during the third quarter of 2014, compared to 7.8 million in 2012 and 8.3 million in 2013.The top 10 largest gTLDs and ccTLDs marketed as gTLDs by zone size were .com, .tk, .net, .org, .info, .biz, .co, .mobi, .me and .tv, as of 30 September, accounting for for 179.2 million domain name registrations, or 63.1 percent of the total global domain name registrations.Total ccTLD registrations were approximately 132.1 million in the third quarter, with the addition of 3.2 million domain names, or a 2.5 percent increase compared to the second quarter of 2014. This is an increase of approximately 12.8 million domain names, or 10.7 percent, from a year ago.The combined ccTLDs have also been experiencing a slowing of growth. In the year to the end of September 2012, there were 18 million domain names added, or an increase of 20.7 percent.Among the 10 largest ccTLDs, .tk grew the fastest, at 9.1 percent overall quarter over quarter growth. There were 285 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root (including Internationalised Domain Names), with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 67.1 percent of all ccTLD registrations.For the new gTLDs, there were 413 new gTLDs delegated into the root at the end of the quarter, with 91 new gTLDs delegated during the third quarter of 2014. New gTLD registrations totalled 2.0 million, or 1.3 percent of total gTLD registrations.During the third quarter of 2014, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was 114 billion (67 billion in 2012) across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of 318 billion (102 billion in 2012), the highest average and peak query loads in a single quarter to date. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average increased 20.1 percent and the peak increased 55.6 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased 40 percent and the peak query load increased 202.1 percent.For those interested, this quarter’s DNIB featured article is “Cryptocurrency and the Domain Name System” offering a primer on cryptocurrency and the DNS.Copies of the 2014 third quarter Domain Name Industry Brief, as well as previous reports, can be obtained at VerisignInc.com/DNIB.

Are Existing gTLD Registrations Suffering From New gTLDs?

Could .net be one of a number of gTLDs suffering from the success of new gTLDs? As of 30 June 2014, Verisign noted in their Domain Name Industry Brief there were 15.2 million .net domains under management (DUM). But according to the latest figures provided by RegistrarStats, there are now 14,998,404 DUMs.Domain Incite were the first to report on .net DUMs seeming to be suffering. But looking at other gTLDs it seems it is not the only one to see a decline in registration numbers over the past 12 months or so. The .biz, .pro, .tel and .mobi gTLDs, as well as the ccTLD for the United States (.us), all appear to have all suffered declines in registration numbers over the last 12 months. The .biz, .tel and .mobi TLDs seem to have been particularly hard hit. The .org gTLD seems to have plateaued its DUMs and not seen any significant increase for close to two years.While some of the older gTLDs have been haemorrhaging DUMs for some time. For example, .info has also seen a significant decline in DUMs from a peak of over 8 million around December 2011 to around 4.8 million now. And .name DUMs peaked around 2009 and have been in freefall ever since.But it seems the decline in registrations for .net, .biz, .us and .mobi, and maybe others, has coincided with the release of new gTLDs.

QNB.COM Tops Weekly Chart In Million Dollar Sale

Domain Name Journal logoFor the fourth time in five weeks, a seven figure sale has topped the Domain Name Journal list of top reported sales for the week ending 7 December. This time it was qnb.com was bought by the Qatar National Bank from a smaller Pennsylvania based bank, QNB Corp., for $1 million.

And coming in equal second, peering a long way through the light, were apps.mobi, chairman.com and restaurantuniforms.com, each selling for $20,000 through Addora, Flippa and Sedo respectively.

There were 19 .com sales on the top 20 while there were 13 sales through Sedo and four by Flippa.

To check out the Domain Name Journal list of top reported sales for the week ending 7 December, go to: dnjournal.com/archive/domainsales/2014/20141217.htm.

Z.com Becomes Year’s Biggest Sale, And Biggest In Four Years, Selling For $6.8m

Domain Name Journal logoThe latest Domain Name Journal chart of top reported sales sees a whopper of a sale reported and the year’s biggest to date – that of z.com for ¥800,000,000 ($6,784,000) in a private sale. It is also the largest reported domain sale since the sale of sex.com for $13.0 million in November 2010.

The sale of z.com was by the Japanese automaker Nissan Corporation who has a series of “Z” sports cars. They have sold the domain to GMO Internet, Inc., one of Japan’s leading ISPs and applicant for new gTLDs and operator of the country’s largest domain registrar

The sale easily eclipses the year’s second biggest reported sale – mi.com, sold for $3.6 million in another private sale. There have also been another two sales topping the three million dollar mark – whisky.com ($3.1m) and sex.xxx ($3.0m).

Back to the week’s top sales for the week ending 23 November, the sale of z.com dwarfed the next biggest sales, coming in equal second was everything.org and rin.com, both selling for $35,000 through Sedo.

On the TLD side of things, there were 12 .com sales, along with one each for .org, .nl, .co, .co.uk, .mobi, .de, .ch and .net.

On the aftermarket outlets, Sedo dominated taking places two through 19.

To check out the Domain Name Journal list of top reported sales for the week ending 23 November, go to:

dotMobi extends goMobi partner network to Web designers, developers and digital agencies

dotMobi responds to demand from web designer and developer community to more easily create mobile websites for their clients

dotMobi logo[news release] To meet the growing demand for mobile-specific websites, dotMobi has expanded the range of partner options and launched a new “Pay as You Go” program for its goMobi mobile website publishing solution. Now, web designers, web developers and digital agencies can join the goMobi partner network and create great, affordable mobile websites for their clients.

The new dotMobi “Pay as You Go” partner program allows designers and developers to access the goMobi dashboard, where they can easily create, design and optimize client websites that work across mobile devices and operating systems. The goMobi platform provides all the tools needed to create fully hosted, feature-rich mobile sites via a dedicated, Web-based dashboard.

“We’ve lowered the barrier to entry for partners who want to grow their business and create mobile sites for their clients without the need to integrate directly with our platform,” dotMobi COO Eileen O’Sullivan said. “The ‘Pay as You Go’ partner program means web developers, designers and digital agencies can concentrate on what they do best: delivering great mobile sites to their customers.”

Web designers and developers can instantly create free trial sites for their clients or create ones with a monthly or annual charge. “Pay as You Go” partners pay a one-time set-up fee of US$150 with sites charged on a monthly or annual basis. Users can sign up via gomobi.info.

Launched in 2010, goMobi combines a wide range of made-for-mobile features — mCommerce, video, mobile marketing, lead generation — with sophisticated design options. This lets web designers and developers easily create mobile sites that are quick to load and work on all devices. goMobi mobile websites can be hosted from any domain name and offer a market-proven revenue stream by catering to the increasing demand from businesses to establish a mobile Web presence.

goMobi continues to be available through its existing global network of large reseller partners as both a “do-it-yourself” and “do-it-for-me” mobile website solution for businesses.

About dotMobi

Headquartered in Dublin, dotMobi — a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias Limited — is an expert provider of mobile web technology helping companies reach their customers, no matter what the device, the content, or the context. Visit dotMobi.com for more on the DeviceAtlas device detection solution, the goMobi mobile website publishing solution and the .MOBI domain.

This dotMobi news release was sourced from:

dotMobi and Digital Element Announce Strategic Partnership

[news release] Mobile Web technology specialist dotMobi and IP Intelligence and geolocation pioneer Digital Element today announced a strategic data partnership that will allow dotMobi to offer Digital Element’s robust mobile carrier and connection type databases to its customers and further enhance Digital Element’s mobile carrier and connection type identification capabilities.

DeviceAtlas provides its customers with highly accurate and detailed device intelligence. Under the partnership, dotMobi will also enable its DeviceAtlas® customers to identify the country location, mobile carrier and connection type (WiFi or cellular) a mobile visitor is using based on IP address.

The ability to report carrier data, powered by Digital Element’s NetAcuity® technology, broadens DeviceAtlas’ offering with further information on the context of the user, as well as accurate information about the device. This is particularly useful for advertisers wanting to deliver their messages to a specific network to fulfill geographic and demographic targeting criteria. Furthermore, the ability to distinguish between WiFi and a cellular network is useful for delivering optimized content based on a user’s connection type.

The partnership with Digital Element is the latest in a series of strategic moves by dotMobi designed to enhance the development of DeviceAtlas by providing more dynamic information to its advertising and content-delivery customers. It follows the launch of client-side technology that detects user-configured browser and device settings as well as directly measuring device connection speeds in real time.

dotMobi has fully integrated Digital Element’s mobile carrier intelligence data into DeviceAtlas. It is available as an additional option to all customers using the DeviceAtlas Enterprise API. A free trial is also available.

“dotMobi is committed to bringing our customers the intelligence they need to deliver optimized, targeted experiences on the web for any device type. The ability to identify the carrier helps us achieve that. As the original innovator in IP Intelligence and geolocation technology, Digital Element is the ideal partner for bringing carrier identification to DeviceAtlas,” said Eileen O’Sullivan, COO at dotMobi.

Frank Bobo, Digital Element Vice President, Operations, said “Bringing together Digital Element and dotMobi’s industry leading solutions creates a big win for content providers and advertisers looking to deliver the most cutting-edge messaging to consumers tailored by location, device type, connection type, and network.  We look forward to delivering Digital Element’s technology to DeviceAtlas customers and strengthening our industry leadership in location, mobile carrier and connection type identification via our partnership with dotMobi.”

DeviceAtlas is used by a wide variety of large brands and Fortune 100 companies, including Adobe, Sprint, IBM, General Motors and Target. Visit www.deviceatlas.com for more details on Carrier Identification.

About dotMobi

Headquartered in Dublin, dotMobi — a wholly owned subsidiary of Afilias Limited — is a worldwide leader in enabling the development & discovery of quality mobile content through innovative services, in turn helping businesses and individuals reach the world’s billions of mobile phone users. dotMobi spurs mobile industry innovation by giving content providers the tools they need to ensure the Web will work on mobile devices with speed, accuracy and relevant content. Visit http://dotMobi.com for more information on .MOBI domains and all dotMobi services, including DeviceAtlas and the goMobi mobile website publishing solution.

About Digital Element

Digital Element delivers the de facto standard in IP Intelligence, providing coverage for 99.9999 percent of the Internet. Digital Element’s patented technology combines Internet routing infrastructure analysis with hundreds of millions of partner-derived online end-points, resulting in the most accurate IP geolocation data available today. Most of the world’s largest networks, websites, retailers, publishers, advertisers and more deploy Digital Element’s IP technology to target advertising, localize content and video streaming, manage geographic rights and enhance analytics. As an industry pioneer, Digital Element has long been a technical leader in evolving non-invasive IP Intelligence technology.

For more information on how to uncover new levels of insight about online users, please visit www.digitalelement.com. Digital Element is a business unit of Digital Envoy Inc.

This dotMobi news release was sourced from:

Afilias Requests Removal Of .PRO And .MOBI Cross-Ownership Restrictions

Afilias logoAfilias has made a request to ICANN to remove the cross-ownership restrictions written into the .pro and .mobi registry agreements.

To obtain the removal, Afilias has to request ICANN remove the restrictions and a public consultation has to be undertaken.

According to the approved process, in order to lift cross-ownership restrictions, existing gTLD registry operators could either request an amendment to their existing Registry Agreement to remove the cross-ownership restrictions or request to transition to the new form of Registry Agreement for new gTLDs. Any proposed material amendments to gTLD registry agreements would be subject to public comment prior to ICANN approval.

More information on the proposed changed changes for .pro can be found here and for .mobi here.


ICANN: Public Comment: Proposed .MOBI Contract Amendment 'Additional Equitable Allocation Options for .MOBI One and Two-Character Domains'

dotMobi logoICANN is today opening a public comment period on a proposed amendment [PDF, 89 KB] from mTLD Top Level Domain, Ltd. to Appendices 6 and 7 of the .MOBI Registry Agreement. Continue reading ICANN: Public Comment: Proposed .MOBI Contract Amendment 'Additional Equitable Allocation Options for .MOBI One and Two-Character Domains'