Helio: another MVNO in trouble?

Chris Ziegler
C. Ziegler|07.06.06

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Helio: another MVNO in trouble?
It looks like Amp'd and ESPN Mobile aren't the only MVNOs discovering that their business models may not be getting them where they want to be. An unconfirmed report out of Telecoms Korea is brewing that Helio -- chic Kickflip and all -- has managed to sign up 100 (yes, that's one hundred) subscribers since launching a couple months back. SK Telecom, which teamed up with Earthlink to form Helio, is denying the reports and insisting the true number is in the thousands, but either way they've fallen well short of projections. It looks like we now have an explanation for Helio's shockingly generous gadget trade-in program. SKT also looks to shore up Helio's lineup with as many as five new models by year end, but we have to wonder -- if 100 subs is an accurate count, is there any hope for a turnaround?

UPDATE: We just got an official response from Helio about this: "This morning's report by Telecoms Korea is wholly inaccurate and does not represent Helio's membership figures." They wouldn't tell us any more than that, but they're adamant that the figures reported aren't correct.
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