If you spend every waking moment on the web, you know that feeling of anxiety you get when you’re on a flight to a conference and you aren’t able to check your email accounts, moderate your blog comments, see if anybody responded to your MySpace bulletin…
Come this time next year, when you are cruising at altitudes upwards of 30,000 feet, you’ll be able to read about the latest Viagra offerings before you mark them as spam and post comments on your friend’s MySpace profile about the stinky dude sitting in the seat next to you to your heart’s content.
From the Wall Street Journal Online:
AirCell will install equipment on airliners that will act as a WiFi hotspot in the cabin and connect to laptop computers and devices like BlackBerrys that have WiFi chips. In all, it will cost about $100,000 to outfit a plane with less than 100 pounds of equipment, and the work can be done overnight by airline maintenance workers, AirCell says.
What makes the service particularly attractive to airlines is that they will share revenue with AirCell. The service will cost about the same as existing WiFi offerings. Mr. Blumenstein says it will charge no more than $10 a day to passengers. It will also offer discounted options for customers and tie into existing service programs like T-Mobile, iPass and Boingo. Speeds will be equivalent to WiFi service on the ground.
The article also covers VOIP and cell phone service potentially becoming available on flights, as well… which is a whole other issue.