media logos

Helio continues widening net losses

It’s looking more and more like Helio will be the next MVNO to bite the dust. I really don’t want to see that happen, but given the unlimited calling revelation hitting the postpaid carriers, their days seem numbered. Their case wasn’t helped late last week, when Sprint, the company of which Helio is an MVNO, announced an all-in unlimited calling, texting, and data plan for $99 — incidentally, the same price Helio offers for a similar service. And now we’re seeing that Helio is continuing to lose money.

They did increase their revenue significantly: from $46 million in 2006 to $171 million in 2007. But if you continue to operate at a net loss, what good is increasing revenue? They lost $192 million in 2006, and jumped that to $326 million in 2007. Mike Dano of RCR News cites a jump in advertising from $21.6 million to $47.5 million, but as you can see, their losses were far wider than that.

SK Telecom remains the only funding parent of Helio. EarthLink had been part of a joint venture, but bowed out last year amid problems of their own. The problem is that Helio has about $45 million left in what the company calls “cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities.” Not good.

So will SK Telecom continue to put funds into Helio? Or are we going to see them suffer the same fate as the high-profile MVNOs that came before it?