.TEL top level domain name is the latest enterant to storm the internet and promises to cater to a large segment of webmasters who want to add a different identity to their brand. They have started accepting applications for trademarks from businesses and organizations worldwide.
.tel will allow individuals and businesses alike to store and manage all their contact information and keywords directly in the DNS without the need to build, host or manage a website. This enables the ability to host personal (or corporate) contact information directly in the DNS, which can then be universally accessible. This stands in contrast to the typical use of the DNS for other TLDs, in which the DNS only provides a mapping between domain names and IP addresses.
The sunrise period has opened on 3 December 2008 and will closes on 2 February 2009. Applications are being accepted by ICANN accredited .tel domain name registrars. Only owners and licensees of trademarks registered with national effect may apply. Trademarks must have been applied for prior to 30 May 2008 and registered prior to the date the Sunrise application is submitted. Sunrise registrations carry a three-year term and are selected on first-come, first-served basis.
The Landrush phase will open on 3 February 2009 and closes on 23 March 2009 wherein applications will only be accepted through ICANN accredited .tel registrars and domain registration will be open to everyone. Any domain that is not registered during Sunrise will be eligible for Landrush registration at a premium price. General Availability opens at 15:00 GMT on 24 March 2009.
ICANN has delegated to Telnic Limited, the .tel Sponsoring Organization, the responsibility for developing, implementing and policing certain policies related to the .tel Top Level Domain and its community. If you want to try .tel before launch – You can join the VIP.tel beta program and try the .tel domain name for free before you buy one, and get a url like YourName.VIP.tel
Remember how .ME domain names went through the similar cycle. Lets see how much buzz .tel domain names generate.