A Chinese firm has become the second company to emerge as a seemingly pure-play .tel registrar.
Unlike most registrars, Beijing Tong Guan Xin Tian Technology Ltd is not approved to sell .com domains. According to ICANN’s records it’s only been accredited in .tel so far.
The company, which does business as Novaltel, even has a .tel domain listed as its official site in ICANN’s registrar directory, which is a first.
Its customer-facing site, at novaltel.com, which I don’t think is fully live yet, is heavy on the .tel branding.
This all makes me wonder whether Telnic, the .tel registry, has another big deal in the works.
At the moment, the reason .tel is a gTLD of roughly 270,000 domains rather than 220,000 is that another pure-play .tel registrar distributed about 50,000 names in one big batch in January 2011.
Unusual as it is, Novaltel is not the first Chinese registrar to devote itself entirely to .tel.
The other is Tong Ji Ming Lian Technology Corporation Ltd, also based in Beijing, which does business as Trename.
Trename is currently responsible for 20% of .tel’s total domains under management, about 55,000 names, according to the most recent official registry reports.
Those domains were registered a year ago as part of a deal Telnic announced with HC International, a business-to-business e-commerce firm also based in China.
That deal is basically the reason that .tel’s overall volumes have not been affected so badly by two years of speculators dropping post-landrush registrations following its 2009 launch.
So does .tel have another spike on the cards?