After a week of speculation and rumors about a possible tie-up between Virgin Mobile USA and SK Telecom's MVNO Helio, Virgin Mobile has finally come forward and announced that the two are in preliminary talks. Virgin Mobile's brief statement characterizes the talks as "in early stages" and cautions that no transaction may result. The MVNO said it will have no further comment on the talks unless a definitive agreement takes place. Just yesterday, SK Telecom denied reports that it was in talks with Virgin Mobile USA about a possible tie-up.
If Virgin Mobile USA were to acquire Helio, it would mark the end of an era: Now that Mobile ESPN, Disney Mobile and Amp'd Mobile have ceased MVNO operations, Helio is the last big MVNO in operation from the content-heavy class of virtual operators.
- read Virgin Mobile's statement about Helio talks
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