Friday, August 10, 2007

remember Jetconnect??



Of course - I know many of you do. I even remember some who thought it was a really dumb idea. I'm very biased about it. It was a great step towards what is now being talked about in the press and those great press releases (some live by PR's). Overall, many PR's should be renamed BSR's for B--- S--- Releases - but I digress.

Here's the start of an old PR:
Chicago, June 17, 2003 - United Airlines and Verizon Airfone® today announced that it is the first U.S. commercial carrier to offer Verizon Airfone® JetConnect service, with two-way e-mail capability, on its U.S. domestic flights.

Wow - what a difference 3 years make, by June 2006 it all had changed.

Ok, so much for the memory trip. I'm interested to know if these next ongoing attempts are going to make it. These next attempts (see link at the end) are both satellite and the FCC air-to-ground spectrum (which the media want to confuse with cellular).

The next attempts will have more bandwidth. Much more than the 9.6Kbps we were trying share with the customers.

I tested JetConnect from Newark to Ft. Myers and back - it worked good. The IM functionality was the best part. Trouble was how many biz laptop users used IM. Also, how many travelers pulled out their laptop.

I think the biggest advantage of these next attempts will be Wi-Fi access. Those phone cords connecting to the old seatback phones? - that was a huge obstacle.

But even with these improvements what is needed in this "space" is SPACE. Who wants to pull out a laptop when you are fighting over elbow room. Now if the load factors drop back to the 80% area, you'll have some empty middle seats.

Oh but what about smaller devices, you may ask. We thought PDA's were going to next big thing - well try again. Maybe if enough I-phones (Wi-Fi capable) fly maybe the space won't be a problem.

Hey, Aircell - give me an I-phone and I'll do some testing for you!!

Here's a link to USAToday's recent article link

Also, here's one from United Press International link

3 comments:

wkellyo said...

I remember back in '03 where JetConnect was extremely popular...well, at least the flight I was on with people wanting to know the score of the Cubbies and Marlins.

I also remember one test flight where a passenger asked the flight attendant how much JetConnect cost, and her reply was: "Oh, it is very expensive. It is $5.95 a minute." I set her and the passenger straight. Anotyher flight, the guy next to me was giddy over it. He couldn't believe I was accessing my e-mail and IMing people.

lisleman said...

"extremely popular" - I suspect you might get some disagreement on that description.

You are right about the perception that anything to do with that seatback phone was expensive. The pricing for phone calls really scared the public of using it.

Before JetConnect, I do remember a couple giving it to their child for entertainment during the flight.

Being connected during a long flight is very useful.

lisleman said...

"extremely popular" - I suspect you might get some disagreement on that description.

You are right about the perception that anything to do with that seatback phone was expensive. The pricing for phone calls really scared the public of using it.

Before JetConnect, I do remember a couple giving it to their child for entertainment during the flight.

Being connected during a long flight is very useful.

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