03:54 PM
The Analytics Job and Salary Outlook for 2016
Jan 28, 2016
With data science and big data top-of-mind for all types of organizations, hiring analytics profes ...Read More>>

Virgin Mobile Reportedly Ready To Buy Helio

The $50 million deal would bring Helio users under the Virgin Mobile brand.

Virgin Mobile USA is set to acquire struggling mobile virtual network operator Helio, according to a report from the The Financial Times.

Under the deal, Helio subscribers would be absorbed under the Virgin Mobile brand. SK Telecom, the majority shareholder of Helio, would receive about $50 million worth of shares. SK Telecom would also invest a "nominal sum" in Virgin Mobile, the report said.

The Financial Times said the deal has already been agreed upon in principle. Representatives from Helio, SK Telecom and Virgin Mobile declined to comment.

The potential deal could allow Virgin Mobile USA to get a toe in the monthly contract market, which is more lucrative than the prepaid one. It could also give Virgin additional negotiating power for the price it pays to lease network capacity from Sprint Nextel.

Established in 2002, Virgin Mobile USA has over 5 million subscribers on prepaid deals. It's primarily aimed at the youth market, with many phones retailing for less than $20. It went public last October, raising about $413 million.

Helio was launched in 2006 by SK Telecom and Earthlink, and it was aimed at users who wanted heavy data access for non-business purposes. Despite critically acclaimed devices like the Ocean, Helio only attracted about 200,000 subscribers.

If the deal goes through, Helio will be the latest mobile virtual network operator to fail in the United States. Last year Amp'd filed for bankruptcy and

Comment  | 
Email This  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
InformationWeek Elite 100
InformationWeek Elite 100
Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
How to Knock Down Barriers to Effective Risk Management
Risk management today is a hodgepodge of systems, siloed approaches, and poor data collection practices. That isn't how it should be.
Back Issues | Must Reads
All Videos
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Full schedule | Archived Shows