Helio dicloses mobile phone subcriber base

Helio predicts its youth-oriented cell phone service will reach 100,000 subscribers in April and that it is now generating monthly revenue at a rate exceeding $100 million per year, an Asscociated Press report said.

The rare update on operating data came as Helio, a joint venture between EarthLink and Korea's SK Telecom, launched a music store offering wireless downloads for $1.99 per song, the Associated Press report said.

It was the first time Helio has disclosed a customer tally.

The report also quoted company CEO Sky Dayton as saying that the company finished 2006 with about 70,000 customers and that subscriber growth has been accelerating.

'It's been ramping month after month,' said Dayton, who also founded EarthLink and the Wi-Fi service provider Boingo. 'I've been involved in a lot of startups, and to see that sort of velocity (in revenue) is very encouraging.'

Dayton declined to estimate how long or how many subscribers it would take to reach profitability, the report further said.