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.TEL: The Simple Mobile Option?

DotTel - Telnic - logoAs mobile devices are now ubiquitous in our daily lives, it might just be time for you to check out one of the last global Top Level Domains to launch prior to 2014’s new universe, .tel.

Over the past few years as the unique, all-in-one solution has developed, .tel is making itself more and more useful for online businesses and individuals looking to have a mobile-optimised presence online without the hassle of having to build, host and maintain a traditional desktop-oriented website.

Of course, it retains the benefits of a traditional domain name in that it’s indexed by search engines, can be integrated with analytic programmes such as Google Analytics and can be linked with email accounts so you can have name@yourname.tel.

However, the service has evolved so that you can buy, build and manage your own mobile-ready website in minutes using just your thumb with .tel service provider Telnames and its Android and iPhone apps.

The creation of a mobile-ready .tel website from Telnames takes minutes and gives all the information a business’s customers or friends need to know and allows contact details and links to Twitter feeds and Facebook and Pinterest pages. There’s a nice little video walk-through of the app here which shows just how easy it is to populate and publish.

Whilst the .tel TLD was launched in December 2008 to trademark holders and general availability commenced in March 2009, initially most service providers used the centrally managed platform made available to them. In the past couple of years, as more organisations have seen the benefits that this type of service can deliver to less technically-able  business customers, new more tailored services have sprung up in countries like China, working with the likes of China UMS and China Telecom.

Telnames is the Registry Operator’s subsidiary company, providing a service to small businesses. There’s an impressive range of customers on its Pinterest page and, we’re told, it’s increasing its global footprint through partnerships with organisations from South Africa through to Mexico and Latin America this year.

Currently, each Telnames mobile website page can include:

  • your own unique web address (e.g. yourname.tel or yourbusiness.tel)
  • a short description including logo or profile picture
  • up to 20 pieces of contact information (including telephone numbers, email addresses, web links, and social media links)
  • a map and address location
  • an offer where you can describe your goods or services on promotion which, when updated, then automatically updates Apple’s Passbook if your customer has saved it
  • an image gallery containing up to ten photos (which has been recently refreshed to show bigger images)
  • a video
  • a full business profile
  • an additional information section
  • a design wizard to personalise the background image for desktops and tablets as well as change the colour of the icons
  • support for up to five PayPal items, services or donation requests at no additional charge to the customer

The free Android and iPhone apps, which can be found at telnam.es/app, provide you with an in-app browser to show your progress as you add your information to your Telname, which is published in real time as you build it.

Of course, as mentioned, there are a number of different services available, access to which can be found at telnic.org. All inclusive pricing for a Telname however is around £14.95 per year, inclusive of tax.

As of October 2013, you can register your phone number, or any other numeric string from two to 63 characters long, as well as internationalised characters in sixteen different languages.

As Google continues to increase its prioritisation of mobile-optimised sites in search and increases the importance of load speed, video integration and relevant content to mobile customers, the simplicity and affordability of .tel is coming into its own. However, as it can not only be viewed in the right format for any device – PC, tablet, or mobile – automatically, the appeal to businesses of all sizes for a low-cost, mobile-ready and limited e-commerce platform that .tel provides makes it a low-risk investment.

According to RegistrarStats, .tel registrations are around the 200,000 mark globally.