In Flight Wi-Fi Good, VoIP Bad

David Byrd : Raven Call
David Byrd
David Byrd is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer for Raven Guru Marketing. Previously, he was the CMO and EVP of Sales for CloudRoute. Prior to CloudRoute, He was CMO at ANPI, CMO & EVP of Sales at Broadvox, VP of channels and Alliances for Telcordia and Director of eBusiness development with i2 Technologies.He has also held executive positions with Planet Hollywood Online, Hewlett-Packard, Tandem Computers, Sprint and Ericsson.
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In Flight Wi-Fi Good, VoIP Bad

On several flights recently taken, I have noted that Wi-Fi is available. On one flight in particular I was quite please to see it as I desperately needed to complete a proposal and send it within the next hour or so. Before boarding, I had explained that it would be after I landed. Imagine their surprise to receive it while I was still in flight.

I liked my in flight Wi-Fi experience and will probably use the service again. However, I do not like the price or the pricing methodology. My first experiences complimentary on two different carriers. Therefore, to date, I have not paid for the service. On one carrier, the access was for the segment only. On the other, it was for the day. With prices ranging from $10 to $13 for a single flight, it is not a good value when compared to either free Wi-Fi in bargain hotels or $10 per day in full service hotels. It is a convenience that I'll use in a pinch, but not on a regular basis.

 In reviewing the packages offered by GOGO, one of the Wi-Fi providers for several airplanes, I did note that $40 buys a 30-day or monthly pass. When my primary job included traveling three out of four weeks (with international destinations as well), that would have seemed like a bargain. Perhaps, the pricing suggested by Southwest airlines will prevail. There service is provided by Row 44 and ranges from $2 - $12 per segment. Obviously, I am backing the $2 price.

As for VoIP while in flight, I am opposed. You may recall that while in New Orleans in the buffet line at the Court of Two Sisters, a woman was trying to fill her plate and talk on the phone. I say trying because she merely slowed everyone down and looked like a train wreck about to happen. I really do not want to be seated next to anyone that can engage in a conversation with someone a thousand miles away for several hours speaking with their "cell phone" voice. If a VoIP in flight service is established, the airlines need to install "phone booths" for the comfort of their passengers.

It is clear in flight Wi-Fi has arrived and will be rolled out over the next few years. It is unclear as to final pricing and availability.

Have great weekend! New recipe on Monday!

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