Word on the street has Helio launching its first data product as soon as tomorrow, which appears
from this leaked kiosk mockup to be a Sierra Wireless AirCard 580
. That would normally seem plausible enough -- assuming we can forget that the 580 is merely a Rev 0 device -- except for one critical detail: our sources tell us Helio's launch will combine EV-DO data with service through Boingo's
network of WiFi hotspots. That leads us to believe that the 580 in the mockup is simply a placeholder for a different, hybrid card, or Helio's going to be assuming that its users are capable of bringing their own WiFi radio -- probably a safe assumption considering the percentage of notebooks that ship with integrated 802.11 these days. The partnership with Boingo makes a lot of sense, seeing how Helio's CEO is Boingo's founder and chairman, but given the ever-increasing ubiquity of EV-DO coverage (particularly anywhere Boingo would have a hotspot), we'll be curious to see Helio's marketing angle on this one.
[Thanks, anonymous tipster]