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In-Flight VOIP Coming Soon 110

hdtv writes "U.S. airline customers are likely to be thrilled with an opportunity to sit next to someone constantly chatting on the phone. Information Week magazine is reporting that government auction is opening a way for telecoms to introduce voice-over-IP links on in-flight communication systems." From the article: "Airfone already offers phone service on many flights, but its high cost has limited its use. JetBlue has declined to say what its LiveTV LCC unit would do with a winning frequency. Although many frequent flyers and airline attendants favor a ban on the phone chatter, Connexion by Boeing, whose Internet service is already offered on nearly 200 international flights a day, notes that there have been no complaints of in-cabin incidents about the technology. The Connexion service is regularly used by passengers to make VoIP calls. "
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In-Flight VOIP Coming Soon

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  • Cost?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NitsujTPU ( 19263 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @07:49AM (#15329054)
    Airfone already offers phone service on many flights, but its high cost has limited its use

    You know what else is limited on airlines by cost?


    You know what would limit the cost of such services on airlines?

    Somehow being able to take away the monopoly of an airline catering to its customers aboard its own jet.

    AirFone is expensive because it's the only game in town. Making phone calls on airplanes will remain expensive until there are multiple carriers on the same flight. Good luck with that one.
  • Seriously Now (Score:5, Insightful)

    by resistant ( 221968 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @08:01AM (#15329081) Homepage Journal

    The problem with these potential yak-fests by seatmates and by nearby or loud passengers is being unable to escape from them. That will be quite stressful for some folks. It's not possible mid-flight to walk out of a plane in disgust. It's easy to foresee a spike in "air rage" incidents. The airlines may be forced to limit talk hours on longer flights (say two hours and up), or to provide "sound hoods" (although it's difficult to see how these could be designed to work well in such cramped quarters).

    These first efforts at mass access to in-air telephony will be mildly interesting social experiments.

  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @08:40AM (#15329148) Journal
    Just put up a sign. "Please make your phone calls outside."

    Same place to deal with crying babies and anyone who snores.

    Or maybe airlines should just offer special areas in the plane for people that do not want to be disturbed. Would you pay 3times the ticket price for a private area free from the rest of humanity? It works on boats and trains. Cheap tickets you sit with everyone else, expensive tickets you got your own space.

    But yeah it is an intresting social experiment, how much are people willing to annoy a group for their own needs and how willing is the group to put up with the needs of an individual.

    It is nothing specific to cellphones. If you honk your car in the middle of the night to say goodbye you are just as much being an asshole.

    What I think is new is that it is more anonymous. A family that constantly has guests departing in the night and making noise will have to deal with the neighbours during the day. You are going to have to live in that neighbourhood for years to come so you better behave.

    This is far less the case with a cellphone. You will never see those people in the airplane again so who gives a fuck if they hate your guts.

    It is a reason some companies have put up a sticker on their vehicles to provide a phone number to call if the driver behaves badly. Without it the driver couldn't give a damn since he will never face the person he cut off in traffic. With the sticker he stand a real chance of being told of by his cheff. I seen several co-workers being reprimanded for people complaining about their driving in company vehicles.

    It would perhaps be intresting to see if the people that make annoying calls are themselves annoyed by other people.

  • Re:danger? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by senatorpjt ( 709879 ) on Sunday May 14, 2006 @10:21AM (#15329407)
    In that case, if terrorists want to crash a plane, why don't they just turn their phones on?

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead