HosterStats.com published domain statistics as of July 2011. We can see the steady growth of almost all gTLDs and ccTLDs. There are two exemptions: .US and .TEL.
In the past months I had already reported symptoms of quite unusual behavior of US and TEL. In December 2010 in the article entitled "November closed down for .US domain count" I have reported decrease of US, MOBI and TEL total number of domains.
Since 2010 situation has changed for .MOBI - now it faces fast and steady growth. Problems remained with .US (decline in June for the first time in 2011) and .TEL (decline since March 2011).
For .TEL, situation is actually worse than in 2010, when domain count declined for 4 months. Now we face decline for 5 consecutive months and no signs of recovery (summer months are not the best timing for aggressive marketing of services like hosting or domain names)
.TEL domains are based on ENUM technology (E.164 NUmber Mapping "ENUM" is a technology for telephone number mapping on special DNS record types to translate a telephone number into a Uniform Resource Identifier or IP address). As one of early adopters of ENUM technology, I have been always an advocate of .TEL.
After so many years of ENUM presence without any spectacular success, I'm afraid, public ENUM is not going to become popular anymore and the fact that TEL is based on ENUM is not going to bring .TEL popularity. Since deployment, TELNIC has introduced several tools (website integration, telfriends, telpages, advertisement support, support for iPhone and Android), making .TEL domains more useful for average users. Regardless of investments in R&D as well as advertising and PR, TELNIC is loosing customers. It's question to TELNIC management, what's next? gTLD with 300,000 names will not be able to play important role when new TLDs arrive in mid-2013. There is no much time left for adjusting strategy and gaining new registrations.
Good luck to TELNIC. I will stay with my .TEL domains including bartosiewicz.tel ubt TELNIC marketing strategy definitely needs adjustments to play any role in the market of 1000+ top level domains.