First some clean up – If you are still wondering where the US FAA and FCC stand on the subject of inflight cell phone usage, here is a link to their website wherein a Q & A clearly sets out who-does-what-to-whom and from here, it looks like the onus is clearly with the airline. Clearly.

And speaking of inflight telephones, did you see the class action lawsuit filed in Northern California that claims; “Gogo has unlawfully obtained and/or maintained monopoly market power in the United States market for inflight Internet connectivity on domestic commercial aircraft by resort to anti-competitive conduct that includes a series of long-term exclusive contracts with the major domestic airlines in the United States. These exclusive contracts have the purpose and effect of thwarting competition on the merits and on price, and [they] have permitted Gogo to charge consumers like Plaintiffs and the members of the class they seek to represent supra-competitive prices. Judge Edward Chen wrote: “To be sure, the Court is cognizant that there may be problems with some of Plaintiffs’ allegations. Gogo never had a contract with Southwest and its contract with United contained terms indicating that the entirety (or near entirety) of United’s fleet was not locked up for a significant period of time (contrary to Plaintiffs’ representation). The Court is also cognizant of the fact that Southwest and United are two of the biggest providers of commercial, domestic airline travel — a point that neither party disputes. These facts legitimately put into question Plaintiffs’ assertion that “Gogo possesses at least an 85 percent market share of all commercial aircraft servicing flights within the continental United States. Nevertheless, even if the 85 percent figure is not correct, Plaintiffs allege with specificity other major airlines—including American, Delta, and US Air—whose fleets in their entirety or near entirety are or were locked up by Gogo’s contract. Thus, it is plausible that even if not a 85 percent market share, Gogo has a substantial enough market share such that, together with the allegations in Plaintiffs’ complaint that there are high barriers to entry, a substantial share of the market has been foreclosed.” The lawsuit alleges that Gogo has established exclusive deals with airlines for the purpose of engaging in overcharging flying customers. This is interesting in the climate of newfound airline prosperity (+ $6Bn profit last year) that has come about as a result of ancillary revenue. And, we note that inflight telephony has been around since the early 1990’s – so why is this just coming to light?

Next, we might have found a way for airlines to make money off inflight cell calling, and, the aversion to the same… click here. Interestingly, if money is to be made off of inflight telephony (and the aversion thereof), we thought Ryanair would be right in there with other airlines, but there is another side to this one.

Having penned the above notes, we stumbled across a release about a developing story from Globalstar that outlines a new, W-Fi frequency based connectivity solution that uses your Tablet/Phone and a special app that communicated in the 5 Ghz range. It permits worldwide voice, text, SMS, and the like, using their new Sat-Fi satcom network. While they do not specify inflight usage or applications, we cannot wonder about the solution being transmitted via satellite. Check it out and ask a few questions about inflight usage (No?), inflight connectivity interference (UNK?), pricing (Probably high!), and a whole host of other issues! LINK

And, if you are an Iridium fan, they now have a satcom-based hotspot service called Iridium Go! $800 gets the small antenna-adorned device and we wonder if it will ever find usage on a plane? Bizjet, perhaps!

Go Hawks! OK, we are Seattle Seahawks fans and if you want to see how Boeing celebrated their success prior the Super Bowl check out this classy aviation move to salute the fans (12th Man).