Virtual global phonebook to launch

22 Feb 2009

With Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites already populating the online universe, do we really need one more site to improve our “searchability” on the web?

Executives at Telnic Limited, the operator of the new .tel domain name, say their product that features a time-saving edge would be extremely handy. “Finding a person’s contact details on the web can be very tedious,” Fabian Chalandon, vice-chairman of the board, Telnic, explained. “You have to go through several clicks to find the information you’re looking for. With a .tel internet address, you instantly know that the site contains a person’s up-to-date email addresses and telephone numbers.”

In essence, the company is creating the world’s virtual phonebook.

“.tel gives people a chance to have their own entry into a live global directory. It is your contact page and your own personal switchboard on the web that gives people several ways to reach you – by phone, email, fax or SMS,”  he added.

A .tel entry lists all a person’s information on one page – postal addresses, landline and mobile numbers, email addresses, website links as well as keywords that define his interests. It even allows the user to indicate his current location.

For frequent travellers, who needs to access contacts instantly and easily, a .tel entry is a good way to store local addresses and local contact numbers while on the road. A .tel entry can be updated online anytime, anywhere and is accessible from desktop computers and mobile devices like smartphones.

“It’s your telecom identity for life and it is also your live global business card. People move around. It’s the quickest way to get all the updated contact information in one place,” Chandalon said.

For those concern about privacy, a .tel entry has a public page and a private page, which the owner controls. The site has a “friending mechanism” that allows a .tel domain name owner to decide who gets full access to the private page.

What makes the site convenient is that it enables people to instantly connect to the .tel domain name owner by simply clicking on their preferred communication method. Either the email or the Skype software will launch when they click on the email address or telephone number on the page.

Millions of .tel internet addresses have been made available. From now until March 23, new .tel domain names are sold at a premium price with no time-consuming, cost-prohibitive auctions. Each costs about US$300 for the first three years and US$20 after that.

.tel domain names are expected to be available by March 24.

For more details, visit

Gigi Onag



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