Sunday, April 30, 2006

HELIO Mobile Service Unveiled, Featuring Content "Gifting and Begging"

HELIO, the new joint venture between Earthlink and SK Telecom, introduced its nationwide mobile service aimed at the U.S. youth market. HELIOis a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) using Sprint's EVDO infrastructure. Key features of HELIO include:

  • MySpace on Helio-- a mobile service designed specifically for MySpace users that allows them to post photos directly from their Helio device to their MySpace page as part of a bulletin, message, comment or personal picture collection.

  • Helio On Top (H.O.T.) -- provides Helio members click-free access to their favorite content and information using live content feeds from an assortment of sources. Helio On Top content partners include Fandango, Fox Sports, IGN, MTV News, MySpace, POPSUGAR, Surfline, The Onion, Yahoo! and more.

  • Messaging -- video, picture and text messaging, along with unique features that enable users to quickly and easily share experiences with multiple friends at one time. Helio members can share extended video messages up to one megabyte, while many other carriers cap messages at 300kb.

  • 3D Games + Reviews-Driven Games Portal -- a library of 2D, 3D and multiplayer games

  • Gifting and Begging -- Gifting is the ability for a Helio member to purchase a music video, game or piece of personalization content directly from their handset and have it delivered, over the air, to another Helio member's device. Begging is just the opposite. Users can "beg" another Helio member to purchase content for them, and a friend can respond by purchasing and having it delivered directly to the handset of the person that begged for it.

  • Mobile Internet + Yahoo! Search
  • mobile Internet services are offered through a partnership with Yahoo!, giving Helio members services including Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Mail, Yahoo! Messenger, Yahoo! News, Yahoo! Photos, Yahoo! Finance, etc.

  • Download or Stream VideoHelio members can choose from hundreds of music videos for download or can stream their favorite clips from brands such as ABC, ABC News, Fox Soccer Channel, Fox Sports, FUEL TV, IGN, MTV Networks' brands including COMEDY CENTRAL, IFILM, Logo, MTV, Spike TV and VH1, Ripe TV, RocketBoom, Speed,, and At launch, all video streaming is included in Helio's All-In Memberships and music videos can be downloaded for $2.49 each.

Helio's launch devices, "Hero" and "Kickflip", are high-end handsets from Korea with design elements and features tailored for the US consumer. Both devices feature 2.2 inch, 262K-color high-resolution QVGA LCD displays, removable memory, and a 2.0 megapixel camera with digital zoom and flash for capturing pictures and video. Hero also offers full duplex stereo speakers and a co-processor chip that delivers high-quality music and video. The Hero is available for $275 and the Kickflip is available for $250.

HELIO's All-In Membership costs are as follows:

  • 1,000 anytime minutes: $85/month

  • 1,500 anytime minutes: $100/month

  • 2,500 anytime minutes: $135/month
  • HELIO is a $440 million joint venture between EarthLink and SK Telecom. HELIO plans to leverage R&D from SK Telecom to create a constant pipeline of new, proven service platforms, systems and applications. HELIO will use existing U.S. EVDO networks under its own brand to deliver data-rich content, such as music, video and multi-player gaming. HELIO will also feature cutting-edge mobile devices built for 3G.

See also