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Summary:

We must have touched a nerve yesterday when we said Helio might be the next MVNO to fall, now that Mobile ESPN is closing shop. The Helio folks wrote us a long note explaining why they’re not going to follow Mobile ESPN into the darkness, and […]

We must have touched a nerve yesterday when we said Helio might be the next MVNO to fall, now that Mobile ESPN is closing shop. The Helio folks wrote us a long note explaining why they’re not going to follow Mobile ESPN into the darkness, and how Helio is better positioned than other MVNOs.

“It’s easy to get discouraged when something like ESPN happens, but don’t think that a poor execution inherently means a poor business model. While we haven’t given any numbers, Helio has done quite well. ARPU is more than $100 (better than anyone) and the vast majority (over 75%) of members are on All-In (unlimited data and messaging) plans,” writes Justin Ried, Sr. Manager, Marketing and Communications for Helio.

Of course the company had no subscriber numbers and said it would release them “in good time.”


Ried also gave us some details on Helio’s future WiFi plans, and said that the company will launch the Hybrid product next week, which he describes as an EVDO card that works in conjunction with a laptop’s built-in Wi-Fi equipment and includes client software that manages the connections and switches between LAN & WAN networks.

Ried describes the Hybrid product as an opportunity for Helio to see how members use EV-DO and Wi-Fi together in anticipation of our converged devices coming out next year. “Think about how much of an opportunity VoIP is to a company like Helio. Not having to pay Sprint or Verizon for that voice traffic is one thing, new service development is another.”

Helio’s converged technology plans will definitely be interesting to watch, though we’re still not convinced they’ll get the subscriber numbers they want.

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  1. One of our users is waiting for her fourth Helio camera phone. They say it keeps breaking because “she sends too many photos.”

    I think for a company that prides itself on developing the next generation of phones, they should focus on hashing out today’s technology.

    I told her to post about it: http://www.pixxelperfect.com/wordpress/?p=72

  2. i really dont see what the big deal is about the WiFi/EVDO card…after all the users will be high-end business travellers…a very small portion of the 18-34 year market that they are targeting…

    thoughts?

  3. My issue with a converged WiFi/EVDO card is that who has money for EVDO, but a laptop so old it doesn’t have built in WiFi? Why not just stick with a normal EVDO card and give it a good client that can intelligently switch between all available connections on the host device (including wired). There is probably no field worse than wireless in terms of software lagging hardware. Why does no one address this?

  4. Actually since inception Helio has made over 200,000 orders not including retail

  5. Helio’s “Unlimited” plan for Hybrid service is only 160mb/month! argh!

    http://evdoinfo.blogspot.com/2006/10/hell-no-helio.html

  6. John Holmblad Monday, October 9, 2006

    Regarding Ari Mir’s comment

    “i really dont see what the big deal is about the WiFi/EVDO card…after all the users will be high-end business travellers…a very small portion of the 18-34 year market that they are targeting…

    thoughts?”

    The card is a EVDO card only. The card itself does not support WIFI. The user of the new service is assumed to hae a Laptop/Notebook that already has WIFI built in. Here is the url to a www page that has a Helio press release that describes the new service and the card that is provided. I suspect that the card is simply a Sprint EVDO card that has been rebranded with the Helio logo:

    http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20061004005370&newsLang=en

  7. John,

    That was Sam’s comment, not mine.

  8. The Zero Void Show Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Helio is an over hyoed,over markert, over stated, scam that just does not meet up to even low standards of what is already out there. Yet another Enron type of creative financing scandal in the making…….

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