Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Please, NO: Inflight Wireless slowly but surely moving down the runway

ABI Research has a piece today about how onboard wireless access is becoming mainstream. Yay. 
I haven't flown in quite a while, however I find the following quote inaccurate and frankly annoying:
"The inflight wireless market that has been trapped by a groundless sense of fear of being stuck next to a perennially chatty person who will not put the phone down. The reality is inflight communications charges will keep all but the very seriously wealthy off the phone for long periods of time."

This is SO wrong. You're right, not everyone and their sister would start jabbing, but the business travellers stuck in economy and able to spend more of the company's budget would love to "get productive". Kids with phones sitting next to their parents who, frankly, would pay for them to get occupied would start jabbing, and the list goes on. So great, you've identified a sector who wouldn't start jabbing, but you opened a world of jabbers for an red eye flight. Tomorrow's gonna be SO productive for you!

The next section is even better:  
"In this world of anytime, anywhere communications, it is maddening one cannot send txt messages or browse the internet and check email. Concerns over interfence and security have been shown to be without merit."
Oh, I'm sorry. Wifi anyone? Why do you have to provide a telephone communicaiton system? you can text (and recieve) messages from your PC, without interrupting your neighbors, and get productive. Why isn't Wifi good enough?

It's a poor decision IMO. I hope the airlines will pull it down before there's a passenger backlash. This is an intimate environment where many people have to get along. There's no reason to challenge that, to satisfy a technology looking for a business.

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