in the same way that ham radio people are vastly behind the revolution in wireless communications.
You're on crack, sir!
Hams have always been at the leading edge of long-distance wireless communications technology. In early times, hams were largely the ones responsible for clever antenna design (which was something of a black art in those times) and improving the effectiveness of various types of radio circuits. They are constantly pushing the boundaries of doing more with less. A good ham can communicate with someone halfway around the world with a simple circuit and 9-volt battery, for instance. Nowadays, the bleeding edge is software-defined radio. You'd better believe hams are using, developing, experimenting, and field-testing right now, as we speak.
Imagine: 300baud modems-- that's what many hams are left with, wirelessly.
Hams have to work within the limits defined by both nature and the FCC. When there is only so much bandwidth available to legally use, and you need to send a message a great distance, 300 baud may be all you get. And in a lot of cases, it's all you need.
Aside from the physical limitations, hams are unlikely to get access to the kind of spectrum that cell phone providers enjoy for short-range high-speed digital communications simply because they don't have quite the same purchasing power as a mobile megacorp.
Aircraft technology changes much more slowly than automobile technology not because the members of one industry are more incompetent than the rest, but rather because the markets are vastly different. Anything that leaves the ground as part of the aircraft has to be FAA certified pretty much all the way around. It's safer for everyone involved to stick with proven designs, even when newer ones might make things easier on the pilot or more efficient for the plane. The stakes are just a wee bit higher in a plane than in a car of the engine stops. Aircraft have lifespans of many decades, whereas most people discard their cars when they're between 5 and 10 years old.