A new registry service catering to the emerging mobile Internet content and services sector has been created by ICANN and members of the mTLD Initiative.

In its first move as an entity, mTLD Top Level Domain has formalised the creation of the .mobi domain for the mobile community.

The .mobi suffix is designed to serve as the recognised mechanism for Internet content and services that are specifically tailored to a mobile experience.

Under the agreement with ICANN, mTLD Top Level Domain, will provide the registry services for the .mobi domain for the next ten years.

mTLD Top Level Domain was formed by various member companies including Hutchison 3, the GSM Association, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Syniverse Technologies, TIM, Telefonica Moviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

"The delegation of the new .mobi top-level domain is an example of ICANN's commitment to fostering innovation, competition and growth in the registration of Internet resources. ICANN is pleased to delegate the .mobi top-level domain to mTLD Top Level Domain, Ltd. as representatives of the sponsored community of users and providers of mobile services and content," said ICANN President and CEO Dr. Paul Twomey.

The group will operate under the consensus policy set by ICANN for allocating and running domain name services for the .mobi domain.

The consortium will work to define the structure of the businesses servicing .mobi and partner with mobile industry leaders to expand the mobile market.

The group estimates that the first domain names will be available during the first half of next year, starting with a 90 day ‘sunrise’ period, allowing corporations with trademark validated names to secure a second-level .mobi domain. Generic second level domain names will be available on a first come, first served basis, after the sunrise period.

The consortium claims that the .mobi domain represents an opportunity for content providers, independent software vendors (ISVs), and Application Service Providers (ASPs) to extend new and existing Internet-based services to their customers.

Additionally, .mobi presents a significant opportunity to registrars to expand their offerings to their customers with new names and hosting functions.

The organisational structure of mTLD Top Level Domain will engage with the Internet and mobile communities on two levels, the Membership Advisory Group (MAG) and the Policy Advisory Board (PAB). The goal of the Membership Advisory Group is to ensure that .mobi is operated in the best interests of the sponsored community and the Internet at large. The 10-member PAB will advise mTLD Top Level Domain on registry policy including eligibility, product offerings, and pricing.