Microsoft and Google Enter the Nigerian Digital Real Estate Market

Another African country has joined Libya in the digital real estate market. The country code top-level domain, abbreviated ccTLD, of Libya is the very popular .ly.

Introducing .ng

Nigeria’s official top-level domain is .ng. Domain thisday.ng was the first registered .ng domain in December 2010. Not surprisingly, both Microsoft and Google recently secured places in the Nigerian ccTLD namespace.

Microsoft bi.ng

Microsoft registered bi.ng on 4 February 2011, although it remains parked on Microsoft name servers. Possible uses are a Microsoft URL shortening service. 

Google googli.ng

Google introduced its goog.gl URL shortening service in 2009 and upgraded it in October 2010.  Google first staked a claim in the Nigerian top-level domain space a few month later, in January 2011. However googli.ng remains parked on Google name servers and does not yet resolve to a website.

screenshot of whois for domain googli.ng

WhoIs for googli.ng via The Next Web

The Google and Microsoft .ng domains were registered by Nigerian registrar Websoft Ltd. Both bi.ng and googli.ng are registered for one year only, according to Nigerian Internet Registration Authority (NIRA) records. The price of a .ng domain registration is approximately $US 50,000 per year.

The Next Web tallied only eight .ng ccTLD domain registrations as of 8 February 2011. Honeywell and 3M were on that list. The other major search engine, Yahoo!, was conspicuous by its absence.

All comments welcomed! Less enthusiastic about spam though.

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