Until recently, YouTube Mobile was the exclusive playground of Verizon subscribers -- but now, it's free for anyone with a sufficiently beefy data plan. Well, almost anyone, anyway; it seems that Helio, arguably the most multimedia-friendly carrier in the US, is charging to access YouTube's otherwise free mobile portal. The company's official stance is that the $5.99 monthly fee goes toward a new premium service called "Video Virus" that'll include access to YouTube, eBaum's World, and others, with two-click YouTube upload and a dedicated, exclusive YouTube app (packing some extra goodies not available elsewhere) all in the pipeline for later this year. To be fair, YouTube's clearly putting some kinks in every carrier's plans to monetize mobile video here, and we'd be surprised if others didn't follow in Helio's footsteps -- but that doesn't mean we're cool with it! Follow the link for a workaround that appears to be working for some folks.

[Thanks, Jacob C.]

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Helio charging for access to YouTube Mobile, part of a bigger plan