Times Internet Ltd (Indiatimes) has added Indiatimes Domains to its bouquet of Internet services such as website hosting, email ids, website design and search engine optimization. It has been accredited by ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned names and Numbers) for domains .com, .net, .info and .org. It also offers .mobi, .in, .biz, .name, .asia, .tel, .ca, .us, .asia and .nl domains, but has left out .co.in.
The domains seem comparatively expensive. For a .in domain, it charges a whopping Rs. 954 per year (according to pricing chart on site) while Net4 India, which is one of India’s largest domain registrars, charges Rs. 499 per year and Rediff Book A Domain charges just Rs. 399. The price of a .co.in domain at Net4 India is also Rs. 499 per year and Rs. 399 at Rediff, which Indiatimes Domains does not offer.
For .com and .net, the price has been set higher than market standards at Rs. 599 per year. Domains .mobi, .name, .tel and those of countries – .ca (Canada), .us (USA) and .nl (Netherlands) are the highest priced at Rs. 999 per year. Net4 India’s rate for .asia was Rs. 800 compared to Indiatimes’ Rs. 999.
Comparison With Rediff & Net4 India
A comparative search for a random website name “crmforbiz” on Rediff Book A Domain, Net4 India and Indiatimes Domains brought out the extent of pricing variations. Rediff charges Rs. 495 per year for .com, .net and .biz, while Net 4 India and Indiatimes Domains charge Rs. 599.
The .name domain costs Rs. 999 if you buy it off Indiatimes Domains compared to Rs. 799 from Net4 India (Rediff does not offer it); .info costs Rs. 599 at Indiatimes while Net4 India offers it for Rs. 499 and Rediff for Rs 495. However, Indiatimes does offer the .mobi domain for “crmforbiz.mobi” for Rs. 999 compared to Rs. 1299 by Net4 India.
One would expect Indiatimes to have begun by undercutting and offering better deals to SMEs and businesses wanting to establish online presences; what is the idea?