The technical proceedings for renewing .Tel domains
All .tel domains are set as „autorenew" by default (automatic renewal), since registration.
And so, if the registrar doesn't make a request to delete the domain, it will get renewed automatically. In other words, you can find your self with a renewed NDD, without your wanting: But that would be a carelessness of the registrar, who would have to refund the costs.
The autorenew happens 45 days after the expiration date: During that time, the domain status within the Whois is „ok", and the domain remains accessable. That is the case, if the registrar has not set a shorter time frame for the delay. However the shorter time frame is more frequent case. And in case of the non-renewal within the shorter time stipulated, the access would be blocked (see further detailes, following below).
The registrar can execute the renewal anytime within those 45 days, OR just let the domain renew it self, automatically, at the end of the 45 days. The domain is renewed, as soon as the expiry date is adapted to the earlyer, respectively, the other date.
If the domain owner/holder informes a registrar that he does not want to renew the domain, he must send him a order / request for deleting the domain. That can be done anytime during the renewal time period (45 days). And so, there are many ways the domain can go, untill it perhaps finds its way to a public sale, or public availabilty (?).
If there is a delete-request, the domain will change its status, and will get the status „Pending Delete": From that moment, the domain won't be accessable anymore. The domain remanins „Pending Delete" during 30 days. - The owner/holder is able to reactivate/reposess/rebuy the domain for a additional fee, anytime within those 30 days. For example, at OVH they charge a penalty fee of 150 Euros, to recover the domain.
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At the end of the 30 days, there is a cancellation period for 5 days, where no one is able to reposess or buy the domain name. After the five days, the domain will be „freed", and available to a new registrant, which is a automatic procedure.
As you can therefore see and conclude: In theory, certain domains don't get available during 80 days after they expire (45 days periode for renewal, plus 35 days for cancellation) whereas others could be available earlier. This depends on the owner/holder, or on the registrar.
Please note, that, when you renew a NDD before the 45 days stipulated, it often happend, that within the first 21 or 30 days, providig your registrar agrees, two things can happen:
--> If the registrar plays the game: He informes Telnic and pays them: Your renewal appears in the Whois.
--> Or the registrar keeps the information for him self ... and his financial departement waits till the 44 day to pay Telnic: In that case your domain remains in the Whois as „not yet renewed".
The serious people like Gandi or OVH are to be found within the first group/example, but a lot of other registrars do „too much of a stretch". That means that a lot of NDD's that seem to be not yet renewed, will be miraculously renewed after more than 45 days.(!)
Also note, that if you haven't renewed within 21 (or 30) days, allowed by your regisrar, your domain is simply „suspended", and you can reactivate it till to the 44th day, without getting penalizised. Not untill the 45 day, where the domain will get deleted.
Source: Telnic. from English to French, and translated in English again.