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Helio is dead, long live Helio

Chris Ziegler

The deed is done, and Virgin Mobile is wasting no time giving its fresh acquisition a giant bear-hug to welcome it to the family. Helio is now "Helio by Virgin Mobile," tagged with the line "Plan To Have It All" -- hopefully a nod to the fact that Virgin plans to keep Helio's offerings distanced from Virgin as a higher-end, feature-rich carrier that can compliment Virgin's typical lineup of ultra-cheap prepaid goods. To kick things off, Helio is now offering an upgrade to its $80 A La Carte plan, boosting the 1,500 included minutes to a limitless bucket -- nice, we'll take it -- and Virgin is stealing some of Helio's mojo to offer the Shuttle, a new handset marketed under the Virgin name that'll integrate Helio's Buddy Beacon service. Just stay on track with the Ocean 2, fellas, and everything's cool by us.