20080509

Helio lands on Virgin island

Brand with prepaid subs would seek added value services king with cool devices.

Virgin Mobile USA and fellow Sprint M-VNO Helio may tie the knot after SK Telecom failed to get Nextel for $5 bn (and cyworld to outperform MySpace).

A marketing wizzard, Korea's mobile leader is good at launching brands on the national market but building an international vehicle is a tremendous task. And investing in an ailing MNO on a huge / consolidating market would have been a waste of time and money.

Now SKT has both*, and it should focus on a relevant partner to give its platforms the global reach they deserve. And quick : Korea's new and US friendly president LEE Myung-bak just met with his new IT advisor : Bill Gates... Microsoft's dark period seems over in the country.

* even if it may lose after China Unicom sells its CDMA network to China Telecom - another blow abroad for SKT, which owns a little bit more than 6% of the MNO.



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