The domain name .tel is a top-level domain (TLD) in the Domain Name System (DNS) of the Internet. It was approved by ICANN as a sponsored top-level domain, and is operated by Telnic. Telnic announced in January 2011 that over 300,000 domains had been registered since the start of general availability on 24 March 2009.
A substantial drop of mostly IDN .tels occurred at the beginning of 2014 - the current total registered .tels as of 21 July 2016 is 98,516 according to the daily domain name count at http://registrarstats.com/TLDDomainCounts.aspx. In July 2016, the number of .tel domain names in the .tel zone file fell below 100,000.
The domain's purpose is to provide a single name space for Internet communications services. Subdomain registrations serve as a single point of contact for individuals and businesses, providing a global contact directory service by hosting all types of contact information directly in the Domain Name System, without the need to build, host or manage a traditional web service. Additionally, as of July 2010, every tel domain acts as an OpenID and an increasing number of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) clients can address a tel domain name directly. The TLD implementation also supports the hCard micro-format.