Good question... I dunno what is the right answer to your question. I'll do some poking around and get back to you if I got an useful answer. You should email the people at iPage as they probably know..
I like it. It sounds like some sort of improvement on a contact page for a site. Telnic have been trying to get this up and running for at least 7 years and so there has been a lot of thought put into it...
It is better than .mobi since it has one less letter..
Hmmm..... does that means we can't register domains like casino.tel , sex.tel , car.tel ?
Number only domains will not be allowed (who knows how long that will last) so you can reg car and casino, although I bet they follow mobi's lead and reserve most of the best names..
But what would you do with car.tel? You would have to make a direct agreement with a car dealer to funnel random calls his way. I doubt he wants to talk to teenagers in Singapore - on his dime..
Ford.tel would probably funnel calls to the nearest Ford dealer by GPS, but I do not see SEDO setting that kind of thing up for each, distinct domain..
So we are looking at a very different game...
I like the analogy between .name & .tel. Both look like interesting ideas and there are interesting concepts behind them indeed but the TLD is pointless and I do not see it going anywhere. Another TLD is not needed to implement the ideas behind the scheme...
In my opinion, it's better than .MOBI basing on the number of letters, ease of remembering, and spelling...
Personally I think the idea seems a bit outdated. It basically provides a direct method to connect to a single business. This sounds alright in function, but when you think about the overall landscape of user interactivity, it becomes far less attractive..
It may have some appeal as far as registering generic keywords and setting up a pay-per-call contract with an advertiser. The drawback here is that I cant see how the advertiser would be able to track where the calls originated from. They would just get random calls and have to go on the word of the HostGator owner that they were sent X amount of calls through their domain. Without tracking functionality I don't see the opportunity..
Theres also the possibility of owning a HostGator like pizza.tel and establishing annual priced contracts with local pizza shops throughout the country to be the exclusive contact for HostGator traffic originating in the pizza shop's area. (or any type of business, hotels, car rentals, real estate, etc...). The problem here is that there will need to be some way to create a dynamic way to route the calls based on the callers location to put them in contact with the local source. From what I've read, it seems that the contact details will be held in the DNS and these details alone will be what the HostGator will resolve to. Not sure if it would be possible to implement the dynamic system that would be required to allow for possibly thousands of varying contacts based on GPS. Which would again make this opportunity unfeasible..
I guess the only real option would be to own a generic keyword and have an annual contract with a major corporation that has chains all over the country. You would then direct the calls to an 800#, where the company would have to redirect the calls using the callers ANI or just giving them the option to enter their zipcode etc... This method seems feasible..
As far as user interactivity... Most of us want options... We want to be able to search a topic, find various options, and get extended information. This is the information age after all. If we are in need of a hotel, type-in hotel.tel and are instantly connected to some random hotel we know nothing about, what are the chances that this will convert? Or we're looking for a restaurant and get connected to some random Italian restaurant when we were in the mood for Indian? Even if we were in the mood for Italian, how do we know it's a decent place? We have no options to read reviews, get directions to the place, or see the menu..
It all just seems like a hi-tech way of doing something outdated.....
Ain't no way .Tel is worse than .Name..
It's certainly much better if possibly not necessary..
Telecom and Telecommunications is BIG busines..
Patrick .name, I mean .Tel, I mean .Pro, I mean .Mobi,.
I mean .Web, I mean .....