Come on Aircell – Help squash the Hang-Up Act

Amended to include Aircell’s comment

Why hasn’t Aircell joined the Inflight Passenger Communications Coalition’s campaign to stop the Hang-Up Act from being enacted into law (as part of FAA reauthorization legislation)?

aircell pic of me.JPG

Aircell (and Row 44 for that matter) is aware that in-flight use of voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) will be banned in the United States if this legislation is passed (not just those mobile voice calls that some folks complain about).

An IPCC spokesman tells me the group has “talked to Aircell about the issue” and “they told us they’d get back to us”.

Aircell says: ”Basically, we support our airline customers and they’ve been telling us that data is what they want, not voice.”

But I think it’s time for Aircell and Row 44 to get on board. Aircell would have a particularly strong voice on this issue since it is dominating the in-flight connectivity sector in the USA. (Okay, so Aircell may not want to invite any further competition, in the form of AeroMobile and OnAir, for example, but in light of all its airline contracts, that likely isn’t a big worry, is it?)

In 2005, Aircell showed this journo and others just what its system can do (and mobile calls were part of that proof-of-concept – that’s us above right).  

You’ve come a long way, baby. And yes, I know US airlines are keeping VOIP off limits right now (and not even willing to broach mobile connectivity), but that’s now. Surely the future is going to look a hell of a lot different!?!  

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4 Responses to Come on Aircell – Help squash the Hang-Up Act

  1. Ludwig von Hapsburg XII "Stinky" June 9, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    Oh, no you didn’t!

    Somebody call the guys in the white suits! Have you lost your mind, RWG?

    Are you one of these clowns who exceeds the fun limit on their telephone? Do you get separation anxiety when you are told “please shut off all portable electronic device, including cell phones, etc…” Do you break out in a cold sweat when you go into the subway and lost your cell signal? Do you like movies about gladiators?

    Seriously, how can you and your high stylin’ stilettos advocate this? Do I really need to hear what’s going on in the guy next to me’s personal life? I can see it now, sitting on my flight. On my right, a guy on his way to a Star Trek convention (imagine the great tidbits I get to hear in that conversation with some Klingon dork). On my left, some stockbroker talking big about his 20 or so hedgefunds and how he’s gonna mop the floor with his boss if he doesn’t get another 100 large for his next big deal.

    Oh, yeah, great idea, RWG. Did your ancestors also think up the brilliant, but flawed 1939 Polish Calvary charge against the German Panzers during the invasion of Poland?

    Why not just let a bunch of wild pumas on the plane so they can maul whomever they choose. Or better yet, give everyone Red Bull and cell phones…that will go over well.

    Don’t go crazy on us now. Stay away from the light!

    “Stinky”

  2. Mary Kirby June 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    Stinky, you know I love your comments, but we part ways on this one, my friend. The scenarios you describe are chilling – no, of course I don’t want a chatty Kathy gabbing away incessantly beside me (especially if said chatty is talking Klingon) – but they are simply not playing out in the real world. Firstly, the cost to make a voice call (hello – international roaming rates!) make lengthy calls prohibitive (unless you’re sitting beside Paris Hilton). Airlines can control the amount of time that voice calls are permitted – “Okay folks, you’ve got an hour if you want to make a call.” Oh yes, and only six voice calls can be made on a plane at any one time (right now). Moreover, you can complain until the cows come home – and Congress can do its best to stop this from happening – but it will happen. Mark my words, Stinkaroo, we’ll have mobile phones in-flight in the not too distant future. Now I’ll bend over and let you beat me with my stiletto :)

  3. Ludwig von Hapsburg XII "Stinky" June 9, 2009 at 2:20 pm #

    I don’t know what to say…not even in Klingon.

    Stinky has been left speechless.

    “Stinky”

  4. Jayna Gutekunst March 22, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Muchas Gracias for the hard “work” you put into your blog says my daughter