Helio’s First Subscriber Figures — And A $100 ARPU

heliomusic.jpg American MVNO Helio has finally released its first set of subscriber data, and it’s pretty stunning. At the end of 2006 (about six months after its launch), Helio had grabbed more than 70,000 users, and says it’s on track to pass 100,000 early in Q2. Those are all postpaid, and are delivering an ARPU of more than $100 per month, with a quarter of that from data services.

Some other figures:

  • 85% of Helio users have accessed its mobile web service
  • more than 70% of its subs use MySpace mobile
  • 80% of its users with the Helio Drift have downloaded the special GPS-enabled version of Google Maps (which I’ve been playing with and is pretty cool), and over 70% have downloaded the Buddy Beacon friend-locator service
  • Helio users send an average of more than 400 SMS per month — which is pretty staggering.
  • 40% of subs use mobile IM

$100 ARPU is pretty enviable, and would answer some of the questions raised about the viability of these media- and content-focused MVNOs (Amp’d has reported similar ARPU figures, but a bit slower growth). The question now for Helio is just how big is the market for people who want to spend $100 on mobile data and content? Their marketing hasn’t been overly aggressive, and their device range has been relatively restrained — so 2007 should prove to be an interesting year for Helio and this MVNO space.

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