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 (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!?!