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Mobile Top Level Domain initiative

11th March , 2004

Europe : Leading companies from the mobile industry have signed a memorandum of understanding to apply for a mobile Top Level Domain ("mobile TLD") from the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) during the current application round, which closes March 15. If the application is successful and the mobile TLD is granted by ICANN, the industry leaders have agreed to form a new joint venture to manage the mobile TLD. A mobile TLD would be a key step in bridging the world of mobility and the Internet to the benefit of customers and the entire mobile industry.

A mobile TLD on the Internet creates the opportunity to streamline the deployment of new Internet sites optimized for mobile usage. This effort is driven by the aim of simplifying the Internet experience for mobile subscribers and increasing the ease of use and speed of delivery of mobile Internet services.

The participating companies are Microsoft Corp., Nokia, Vodafone, 3, GSM Association, HP, Orange, Samsung Electronics Co, Ltd. and Sun Microsystems. These companies and others that will join over the coming months represent software developers, device manufacturers, network operators, infrastructure providers and content providers. The mobile TLD brings together mobile-industry-leading companies to catalyze business opportunities for companies servicing mobile customers with compelling new mobile services and applications.

Under the terms of the memorandum of understanding, the companies intend to form a registry company to manage the distribution of the new mobile TLD names. The mobile TLD would be designed to enable efficient application and network services and reliability for mobile customers and service providers.

The registry company will seek participation of additional, members to ensure broad customer and industry input.

"Microsoft is proud to partner with luminaries from across industries on creating a mobile Top Level Domain to the benefit of the entire value chain, and most important, mobile customers," said Brian Arbogast, corporate vice president of the MSN Communications Platform at Microsoft. "We expect that by leveraging the technologies of the Internet, appropriately scaled for mobile scenarios, this initiative will provide the ease of use and efficiency that will significantly fuel mobile Internet usage."

"The creation of a mobile Top Level Domain would allow consumers to access the Internet in very different mobility scenarios, whether the access is provided by mobile operator, Internet service provider or various gateway devices at home or enterprise," said Pertti Korhonen, senior vice president and CTO of Nokia. "The wide industry participation highlights the shared objective of offering seamless global access and interoperability of mobile services and applications."

Alan Harper, group strategy director at Vodafone, said, "Establishing a mobile TLD is an exciting development for the entire mobile industry. The aim of the initiative is to accelerate the rollout of Internet products and services specifically designed for mobile devices as well as to ensure far greater operating simplicity for mobile subscribers across the globe. This venture should build on the considerable trust that exists in the mobile community between subscribers and operators."

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