In all the excitement about WiFi coming to aircraft within the next year (or so they say), a key fact is being overlooked.
Buried in a Wall Street Journal story about the deal is that airplane WiFi contractor AirCell will block voice calls over the Internet.
That's just for those of us ordinarily mortals/civilians in steerage. Like the lady in the AirCell photo. She not wearing a headset.
But pilots, flight attendants and air marshals, will be allowed to make VoIP over AirCell WiFi calls- as long as these calls concern scheduling, safety and security issues.
Prediction: once voice over WiFi is shown to be safe from the air, you'll see pressure on AirCell to allow voice calls to piggyback. But before that happens, you may see revenue models being debated, and the old bugaboo of institutional resistance rear its ugly head.