“Virtual” mobile carrier Helio is refocusing its business and could cut jobs, according to reports. Moconews says the company will shift its strategy from trying to be a nationwide carrier to focusing on big cities. GigaOM reports that Helio is “rumoured to be contemplating job cuts” that could happen “sometime this week.” Updated: A Helio spokesman confirms the company is cutting 100 jobs, or about 15% of its work force, primarily from its field sales team.
Both moves make sense and neither comes as a surprise. Tuesday, parent company EarthLink, which co-owns Helio with Korean wireless giant SK Telecom, cut almost half its staff, in part because Helio is burning a hole in its wallet. Last quarter, Helio lost $84 million on $33 million of revenue. It is projected to lose at least $300 million this year. And it is a year old and boasts a mere 100,000 subscribers.
In July, new EarthLink CEO Rolla Huff said Helio’s free-spending days were over, and said future funding would come only if Helio meets “agreed-upon operating milestones.” Trimming back marketing expenses is the least the company can do.