Back in August 2008 I posted a blog post about IPv6 entitled of ‘the fallacy of separating Web development from IPv6’ pointing out that we needed the capabilities of IPv6 in other ways than just because we were apparently running out of IPv4 addresses. The post contained the following paragraph;
The first point is that there is such a thing as IPv6 native applications, and a good example is to consider the use of IPv6 for Wireless devices, or cell phone handsets. The progress Skype made is legendary, but then so are the problems, if you want to make ‘phone to phone’ calls over IP Networks you really need fixed ‘numbers’ for the phones, as well as better routing, lower latency, quality of service, etc. In short it’s not just a connection as in the terms of the old Internet it’s a ‘service’ that is integrated to and supportive of the aims of the higher layers of services.
Well the answer has just arrived with the creation of a new domain with the suffix .tel, but more importantly a whole new set of capabilities. The .tel domain is managed by Telnic, and they have focussed on constructing the domain around the services that are needed to support the new generation of smart phones such as the Apple iPhone, Google Gphone, Blackberry Storm, etc which are as much at home connecting through the Internet as through conventional telephone networks.

The domain is designed to use a .tel url as a place to manage contact points rather than act as the access link to a web site. The idea is that owners of these urls will 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/connectable at the time. There are even the beginnings of third party plug-ins market appearing to help maximise the usability of these services. This is not new in principle as Enum was set up to hold these kind of details as a unified contact hub, but it was limited to conventional web based access, whereas .tel expects to be able to support conventional telephone calls, IP based telephony as well as web based service. In short it will try to be the single point for everything!
The .tel domain is being rolled out in three separate moves; Starting on the 3rd of December 2008 for a period of two months Telnic will allow companies with well known trademarks to register their names based on their trademarks, i.e. Vodafone.tel might be an example. This is followed with a second phase starting on the 3rd February 2009 when anyone can apply to buy any unregistered .tel address by means of a tender process selling premium addresses to the highest bidder. The third and final phase will start on 24th March 2009 when all remaining addresses will be made available for a standard fee.
The arrival of the .tel domain is at the beginning of the creation of a whole range of new domains during 2009, most of which will target specific new activities that have been growing as the use of the web both matures, and at the same time develops into new uses, plus the use of the new technology model around the Cloud. My original post was based on the expectation that we would start to see some real shifts in the functionality delivered by a whole new generation of services which could be constructed by tying together IPv6 internet capabilities with web services.
Again this ties up with another post in mid November entitled ‘Why business models need the Cloud’ and my comment was;
If you want to make money by getting people/businesses to buy a complementary service then you have to have a way to deliver it, and unlike content this is not likely to be a static page to be sent, but a full on interactive ‘service’ that has to be able to run independently of the people/business using it as part of their process. In other words there are a whole series of major industry players out there who need to get the Cloud Computing model in place to be apply to maximise the use of their ‘services’ and revenues!
Yup, the various pieces are coming into place now, and as the pieces appear, the reason for the various technology elements which may have seemed like’ answers seeking questions’, are becoming clearer. As I said in November 2008 we are beginning to see the arrival of truly different and revolutionary business capabilities delivered by these new technologies being used in a completely different manner. Don’t forget to keep an eye out in 2009 for the release of a succession of new domains each of which may well bring their own innovative business capability with them.