Phone numbers replace dot-com addresses

Numeric addressing could be the future for mobile Internet use

Forget digging around for unusual dot-com addresses that are either difficult to remember or all-too-often inaccurately entered.

Australian company Nacomms claims to be the first in the world to go online with numeric addressing, where telephone numbers are used in replace of the ubiquitous dot-com address.

With worldwide patents pending on all its technology, Nascomms hit the Net with numeric addressing this week and already claims to have a couple of hundred customers in the bag.

"We expect that figure to grow incredulously over the next few months," Nacomms general manager Siobhan Dooley told ZDNet.

"Interest generated so far is making the future look extremely rosy," Dooley added.

All a surfer need do is plug in the ISD and regional code followed by the phone number of a company with a registered numeric address and its Web page will be brought up.

Every phone directory in the world is on the Net and no two people have the same phone number, according to Dooley. Top that with URLs that are prohibitively long to type in and dot com addresses that are often difficult to find, then numeric addressing "makes life quicker and a bit simpler", she said.

"It's all about finding a way to make the Web more simplistic," Dooley said. "It's not about replacing dot-coms but working within the limitations they have".

Numeric addressing resolves the issue of cybersquatting and with WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) said to be the technology of the future, it is much easier to type in a telephone number over a WAP-enabled mobile phone than it is to enter a domain address.

Businesses can also acquire extension numbers that, when entered after the telephone number, will take an Internet user to a specific page on the company Web site, such as the online booking page of a travel agent with a Web presence.

Nascomms is working with ISPs in the hope that it will become the reseller of numeric addressing, Dooley said.

A numeric addressing licence, available at www.nascomms.com, incurs an annual fee of AU$55 (£20.36) and extensions will set you back AU$27.50 (£10.18).

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