Helio Launches – What You Need To Know

Helio late tonight launched their MVNO service. Here are the key facts.

• Plans start at $85 and include unlimited data. An “A La Carte” plan is available for $40 and charges $.002 per kilobyte.
• Picture and Video messaging are included, but additional fees on the A La Carte plan. Video clips are also included, as are portals such as MySpace.
• Both the Hero ($275) and Kickflip ($250) are available at launch.
• As with most Sprint MVNOs, OTA activation is possible, however, Helio also has over-the-air sync for transferring contacts between devices.
• The default network clearly is Sprint. Coverage maps are Sprint-drawn with Blue overlays for where Verizon also provides network coverage. The data appears to be purely Sprint-driven.
• On Top is Helio’s answer to Cingular Active Home Display, and Motorola’s SCREEN3, allowing display of headlines and news on the main display.
• Helio refuses to comment on the ability to use the device as a modem or not, there is no mention of modem usage anywhere on the launch web site.
• The garden appears to be walled for now. There are no APIs for their WIPI Java or WIPI C (similar to BREW) platforms, and no apparent support for third-party applications.

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