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    Tuesday, January 19, 2010

    Reuters - New York Times may charge for online content: report

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    New York Times may charge for online content: report

    Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 1:18PM UTC

    (Reuters) - The New York Times Co Chairman Arthur Sulzberger is close to announcing that the paper will begin charging for access to its website, New York Magazine reported on its Web site citing people familiar with internal deliberations.

    A final decision could come within days and a plan could be announced in a matter of weeks, reported.

    "It will likely be months before the Times actually begins to charge for content, perhaps sometime this spring," the report said.

    Apple Inc's tablet computer is rumored to launch on January 27, and sources speculate that Sulzberger will strike a content partnership for the new device, which could dovetail with the paid strategy, the magazine reported over the weekend.

    "We'll announce a decision when we believe that we have crafted the best possible business approach. No details till then," the report quoted a Times spokeswoman as saying.

    (Reporting by Santosh Nadgir in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

    Reuters - Users spurn traditional calls for Skype

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    Users spurn traditional calls for Skype

    Tuesday, Jan 19, 2010 5:59PM UTC

    FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Users wanting to call home form abroad are increasingly turning to Skype's Internet telephony service to the detriment of international carriers, new data showed.

    "Skype is now the largest provider of cross border communications in the world, by far," said Stephan Beckert, analyst at research firm TeleGeography on Tuesday.

    Skype's technology allows consumers to make practically free long-distance calls over the Internet on fixed lines. It is mostly used on desktops but Skype has made the move into mobile too and it now comes pre-installed on some cellphones.

    According to the firm's data, over the past 25 years, international call volume from telephones have grown at a compounded annual rate of 15 percent.

    In the past two years this growth has however slowed to only 8 percent, rising from 376 billion minutes in 2008 to an estimated 406 billion minutes last year.

    By comparison, Skype's on-net international traffic between two Skype users grew 51 percent in 2008, and is projected to grow 63 percent in 2009, to 54 billion minutes.

    "The volume of traffic routed via Skype is tremendous," said Beckert.

    In general, TeleGeography said, "demand for international voice has been remarkably robust, but it's clearly not recession-proof."

    Traffic to Mexico, the world's largest calling destination, declined 4 percent in 2008 for example, and aggregate traffic to Central America declined 5 percent, data showed.

    Established in 2003 and based in Luxembourg, privately owned Skype has more than 520 million registered customers who use the free Web service for voice, video or text communication.

    But despite its size, its revenue is relatively modest -- at about $551 million in 2008 -- as the company has had a difficult time getting users to pay for its largely free services.

    Skype aims to nearly double its annual revenue to $1 billion in two years.

    (Reporting by Nicola Leske)

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