Paris Hilton, Helio and MVNOs

CTIA, Los Angeles: Well CTIA, you really couldn’t resist that last day Paris Hilton cameo – she was on stage for about 3 seconds to support her latest music video on cell phones before a mobile social networking panel, and now wireless geeks at the show will have months of starstruck memories and stories to tell (too bad that includes me too).

Anyway, Paris showed off her phone just before a panel including Helio’s CEO Sky Dayton, Digital Chocolate’s CEO Trip Hawkins and Virgin Mobile USA CEO Daniel Schulman. (Now talk about a hard act to follow!)

Some of the more interesting discussion was over Helio, which Sky Dayton said 25% of its revenues are from data services, and 1/3 of the game downloads are through the company’s sharing service of “gifting” and “begging.” Of course Dayton didn’t comment on how many subscribers the new MVNO has after its few months on the market, but 25% of nothing is still nothing. Well, some analysts speculate that Helio has around 10,000.

Conveniently Dayton and Virgin Mobile USA’s Schulman tried to convey that this is the end of the MVNO hype cycle. “The window is closed,” Dayton put it. Well that’s a convenient remark. Virgin has already made its mark. For Helio we’re still waiting.


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