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.mobi (dotMobi) - top level domain for mobile devices

“Last year, 56 per cent of multimedia phone owners used it to browse their operator’s portal, as opposed to 36 per cent in 2004. Yet those 56 per cent only browsed ‘at least once per month.’ That’s a massive missed opportunity. (source:

The trend is clear - mobile browsing will increase. What is dotMobi?

.mobi, the new top level domain, is restricted to mobile websites for mobile devices such as cell phones or PDAs. Thus .mobi domain names address all providers of mobile content and their users. It is the first domain exclusively for mobile content. It shows users that they reach a site that is optimized for mobile devices. Therefore .mobi pages have to observe standards.

The minimum length of a .mobi domain name is 3 characters, and the maximum length is 63 characters (excluding the “http://www” and “.mobi” portions). dotMobi domain names can contain:
  • English-language letters (A-Z),
  • digits (0-9),
  • hyphens (not at the beginning or end of the domain name).

Spaces and special characters (such as !, $, &, ß, etc.) are prohibited by now - but dotMobi intends to support internationalised domain names (e.g. words with ü or ä) in the future.

Some examples, how a mobile webpage can look like, you will find here:
What are dotMobi Switch On! Guides?

dotMobi will publish a set of style guides known as the dotMobi Switch On! Guides. For creating mobile content and services that work well for mobile devices developers have to obey these guidelines. The guides contain a mixture of mandatory rules (have to be followed), highly recommended best practices (should be followed but it is not required) and optional best practices (advisable rules).

The Web Browsing Guide is the first of the dotMobi Switch On! Guides and is based on the work of leading mobile companies as well as the W3C Mobile Web Initiative. This Browsing Style Guide outlines the web browsing interaction. The rules of the dotMobi Switch On! Web Browsing Guides can be found in our special post.

The complete dotMobi Switch On! Web Browsing Guide is available at:
Who is behind .mobi?

Nokia, Vodafone and Microsoft (both invited by Nokia) were the founders of the dotmobi initiative. Then other investors including Ericsson, Google, GSM Association, Hutchison, Orascom Telecom, Samsung Electronics, Syniverse, T-Mobile, Telefónica Móviles and TIM joined the initiative.

In March 2004, the .mobi Top Level Domain application was submitted to ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) and was approved by July 2005. mTLD (mobile Top Level Domain Ltd) were appointed as global registry for the .mobi Top Level Domain. mTLD is also a sponsor of W3C’s Mobile Web Initiative.
Who is allowed to register?

In May 2006 mTLD launched the “Limited Industry Sunrise”. During this period only members of the .mobi consortium and other mobile industry organizations had the opportunity to register .mobi domain names.

Since June 12 the “Trademark Sunrise” period has started, trademark holders can now register a .mobi domain name. This procedure aims to avoid that “domain grabbers” register domains illegally in order to sell them to the legitimate owners afterwards.

From August 28 the general registration will follow and is open to the public. This starts with a two-week period called “Landrush,” when available .mobi domain names will be able to be registered at special (higher) prices (e.g. 49,00/year). After that two-week period the prices will be reduced to a lower amount (e.g. 29,00/year).

Still controversial is the decision that all dotMobi content has to meet certain criteria to achieve optimizied presentation on mobile devices.

Also strongly critized is the accused breaking of principles of device independence, because .mobi domain names are intended to be only available on specific devices (mobile). But content should be readable on any device.

We at PavingWays think however, that the standards dotMobi is based on (XHTML and CSS) will enable other non-mobile clients to display the content of .mobi-pages correctly.
.mobi Whois
Find out if a domain name have been registered with the .mobi whois search:

Examples for .mobi domains are the ones of Nokia or Vodafone.
Sources: mTLD Wikipedia