Friday, February 17, 2006

MySpace Goes Mobile with Helio

TopTechNews reports MVNO Helio "has hooked up with the popular social-networking portal MySpace to introduce a pair of multimedia handsets as it prepares to launch a new mobile brand that targets young, tech-savvy consumers."

Helio, a joint venture between Korean wireless carrier SK Telecom and Internet service provider EarthLink, is scheduled to launch in the U.S. this Spring, and is hoping to leverage MySpace's community of some 55 million members.

According to the article, "Users will have a MySpace mailbox along with access to blogs, photos, and member profiles. Helio customers will be able to submit photos to from a Helio phone. Additional photo storage will be available on the devices themselves, and a presence indicator on the phones will show when friends are online."

Yankee Group analyst Linda Barrabee said, "This is the year of the virtual-network operator, with ESPN, Disney, and now Helio launching mobile services targeted at specific audiences."

Barrabee thought the partnership allowed Helio to tap "a large, established community and providing a way for that community to exchange information and content in real time, while MySpace is extending its presence beyond the PC." she said, "It's a good way to take advantage of 3G networks that are designed for handling both voice and data services."

Yankee's Michael Goodman added, "It's all about sharing and connectivity, and taking that beyond the desktop."