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cosyr
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Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:27 pm

http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-576...t-text-talk-service-at-30000-feet/

Airlines still have to be convinced in the US, it sounds like, but this could turn into something miserable.
Texting is fine, but we all know the arguments about talking. Will this be different than Amtrak?

If they have to allow talking, hopefully the airlines will see this as a revenue opportunity and charge $2.99 per minute!
 
MesaFlyGuy
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:53 pm

Quoting cosyr (Thread starter):
Will this be different than Amtrak?

I've done the acela service and have done 12-14 hours in business class on the east coast, and you don't get that many people being very boisturous with their phones. Hopefully it'll be similar on planes, especially if you have to pay for it.
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LY4XELD
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:00 pm

They should charge as much as they used to for those old "air phones" in seat backs. Hopefully that would result in people using this new service as much as those dust-collectors.
 
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cosyr
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:04 pm

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 1):

I also think that people get less antsy on trains. Easier to get up and walk around. Less of that feeling of needing to entertain yourself. Also could have something to do with big windows, and lots to see out of them. Even if people don't talk more on a plane than on a train, I think you're closer together. Amtrak doesn't have 3 seats together like a plane, there are bigger armrests, and often fewer seats filled. Plus, if someone on a train is really obnoxious, you can usually move, not having assigned seats.

On a separate note. I'm not sure the quiet car idea will work on a plane. Planes aren't as separated and customers don't have as much say over where they sit. How do you separate the talking section and the Y+ cabin? Do people have to choose between legroom and either peace or the ability to talk?

This will open a big can of worms.
 
FlexJetOKC
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:05 pm

Oh boy. I can see the texting part, but calling!? That is one of the best parts about flying-no phone use. If this changes, I think you can expect quite the crowd of pissed off travelers. I hope the high price deters the average passenger from purchasing this. I can just see it now. Passengers calling their loved ones during an in flight emergency saying they're not going to make it and what not.

[Edited 2013-11-08 12:08:18]
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MesaFlyGuy
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:07 pm

Quoting cosyr (Reply 3):

You make a good point. I'd hope that there will be some common sense and courtesy expressed by those on their phones, but we will see...  
The views I express are my own and do not reflect the views and opinions of my company.
 
blueflyer
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:18 pm

I read the OP's article to see which airline I ought to avoid in the future, but then I saw "American Airlines, Delta, United, and Virgin America." I'm doomed!

Quoting MesaFlyGuy (Reply 5):
I'd hope that there will be some common sense and courtesy expressed by those on their phones

        
Common sense.... Seriously?
This article has started the timer to the first in-flight cell phone air rage incident.
 
Indy
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:29 pm

Dear god please don't allow talking. The last thing is you need is some tool talking loudly on the phone so everyone around him can hear how important he thinks he is. You know the type of person I am talking about. But lets overlook the "tool" issue. There is also the network quality issue that will make voip (which is what this would be) impractical. The quality of the Gogo network is often very poor. It makes simple tasks like surfing the net very difficult. The service was so bad that I canceled my account. I got the account to help pass the time on the ATL-SAN/SAN-ATL portion of my trips. The service was so poor that it was often completely unusable. The poor service quality would make voice impossible. People would get frustrated and cancel the service. That is not before talking louder because talking louder helps you overcome network problems.  
IND to RDU to OKC in 18 months. This is what my life has become.
 
Longhornmaniac
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:39 pm

First class would be an interesting conundrum. Between the desire to get away from the loud masses with screaming babies in coach, and the need to get work done, something would have to give!   

Cheers,
Cameron
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jetblueguy22
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:11 pm

I'm fine with texts, but as others have said I have no desire to deal with some loudmouth talking about his big meeting while airborne. If you have an iPhone you can already iMessage, which I like to take advantage of airborne. I'm not sure I like the idea of a separate app in order to have to use the service though. I will probably just end up paying for wifi and using iMessage like normal.
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N243NW
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:49 am

Quoting jetblueguy22 (Reply 9):
I'm fine with texts

See, at first I thought the same thing, but think about all the people around you nowadays that have obnoxious text tones on their phones going off all the time during conversations. I probably wouldn't have a problem with texting, as long as everyone were required to silence their phones.
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
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cosyr
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:12 am

Quoting N243NW (Reply 10):
I probably wouldn't have a problem with texting, as long as everyone were required to silence their phones.

Easier policy to enforce than silencing the conversations out loud.

[Edited 2013-11-08 22:14:38]
 
BrianDromey
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:56 am

FR had inflight phone and text installed in over 100 738s a few years back. There was so little use of the system that FR stopped installation, deactivated the system and removed it from every aircraft. As I recall the rates were very expensive. I think an SMS was €1.50!

I don't know if GoGo can bring the price down, I assume they are using VOIP. Like the FR version, after the initial novelty I'm not sure how popular this will be.
 
FlyDeltaJets
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:17 pm

Inflight wifi is so slow I dont see reliable phone calls being made.
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srbmod
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:22 pm

I can see the airlines getting onboard with the texting aspect of this, but I don't think too many will get onboard in regards to the ability to call people onboard. Gogo blocked access to streaming services and VOIP services at the request of airlines, so I doubt they'll change their position on that unless they can be guaranteed a cut of the revenue. One thing to remember is that the airlines don't set the prices for Gogo and that seems to cause some friction from passengers.

Another thing to note is that the current generation system is now so slow due to widespread usage that airlines would have to upgrade to the newest technology Gogo has available to take advantage of this. Gogo's testbed a/c is using the newest tech they've developed and right now, some of their customers are just beginning to roll out the ATG-4 upgrade and the sat-based systems (including the hybrid system using satellite and air to ground technology) is still in the early stages as well.

There are so many different messaging apps out there for not only laptops, but also tablets and smartphones, that this is probably one that has limited appeal since there are messaging apps that have the ability to send messages as text messages.

The inflight talk is probably something their business aviation customers would have a greater interest in and probably the market segment it will be heavily used by.
 
pqdtw
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:40 pm

Years ago I would have been more irritated by such a move, but the truth of the matter is that people tend to text more nowadays than to place an actual voice call, so I don't think it will be quite as bad as we are making it out to be. I think it won't be much different than the current environment while the plane is at the gate. Every now and then you hear some blowhard having an obnoxiously loud phone conversation, but that is far and few between. Most people sit quietly and text what they need to communicate while in their seats at the gate. I don't anticipate that the environment while airborne will be significantly different.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 3:58 pm

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 13):
Inflight wifi is so slow I dont see reliable phone calls being made.

Gogo coul prioritize available bandwidth to voice calls. An easy 128kbps/active call out of the theoretical ~10mbps stream should be adequate.
 
Indy
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 4:31 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 16):
Gogo coul prioritize available bandwidth to voice calls. An easy 128kbps/active call out of the theoretical ~10mbps stream should be adequate.

It is more than just theoretical speed at play. Network quality is every bit as big of an issue. Latency issues will cause all sorts of problems. Poor response time and packet loss will result in poor voice quality and dropped calls. I had a slight issue with a router and my voip calls would drop consistently. Since Gogo speeds are often very bad we don't even have to worry about packet loss. Speed will kill the calls before that does. If speed is so bad you can't even get a page to load you can bet it will be too bad to make calls.

VOIP isn't needed in flight. It isn't needed or wanted by the masses. It will be nothing but loud and a distraction to everyone. If people think they are so important that they need to communicate with the outside world then fire off an email. You know you have a flight so I'd suggest conducting your calls around that schedule. The world survived for decades like that and it will continue to survive.
IND to RDU to OKC in 18 months. This is what my life has become.
 
srbmod
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:47 pm

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 16):
Gogo coul prioritize available bandwidth to voice calls. An easy 128kbps/active call out of the theoretical ~10mbps stream should be adequate.
Quoting Indy (Reply 17):
It is more than just theoretical speed at play. Network quality is every bit as big of an issue. Latency issues will cause all sorts of problems. Poor response time and packet loss will result in poor voice quality and dropped calls. I had a slight issue with a router and my voip calls would drop consistently. Since Gogo speeds are often very bad we don't even have to worry about packet loss. Speed will kill the calls before that does. If speed is so bad you can't even get a page to load you can bet it will be too bad to make calls.

VOIP isn't needed in flight. It isn't needed or wanted by the masses. It will be nothing but loud and a distraction to everyone. If people think they are so important that they need to communicate with the outside world then fire off an email. You know you have a flight so I'd suggest conducting your calls around that schedule. The world survived for decades like that and it will continue to survive.

The speeds on the ATG-4 network are supposedly three times faster than the current ATG system, but existing operators have been slow to upgrade their ATG equipment to the ATG-4 standard (AA earlier this year inked a deal to put the ATG-4 and Ku Band satellite systems on their A320 family a/c as well as new delivery 737s, but no mentions were made in regards to retrofitting those to a/c that Gogo was already installed on.).

Just as data speeds on smartphones have continued to get faster and faster as the technology improves, so will the speeds for inflight WiFi. The air to ground technology Gogo currently has in service is a couple of generations behind what is commonplace with smartphones these days. The current ATG network is roughly equivalent to 2G and the newest version of the ATG tech, ATG-4, is roughly equivalent to 3G and uses EV-DO technology. Gogo uses the CDMA standard on their network, and with CDMA carriers opting for LTE as their 4G standard (mirroring the GSM carriers) the next generation of ATG for Gogo presumably goes that way as well. That likely means Gogo customers would have to completely swap out equipment for that generation (The upgrade from ATG to ATG-4 is retrofitting some antennas and a few other items.). I think ideally, the long term goal is for inflight WiFi speeds to be as close to what one would get on the ground via their cell carrier with their smartphone. This is part of the reason behind the recently announced "hybrid" satellite/ATG version of Gogo.
 
mandala499
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:38 am

LOL! OK, Emirates have now had over 5 - 10 million calls handled onboard? (well at least GPRS connection and voice logons)
Have we had nightmares of loudmouths talking on the phone or obnoxious phone notification tons? No...

(And they serve some of the biggest loudmouth regions that can make an American loudmouth look like a silent monk)

How do they do it?
1. Charge a premium for voice calls (and I mean premium)
2. Require the phones to be put on silent/vibrate.
3. Courtesy (eg: be quiet!) to other passengers.
4. Threat of switching the damn system off if 2 & 3 is violated.

Result:
People actually switch their phones off when not wanting to use it... *at least their GSM & cellular data connection*... for fear of being charged a bombshell on their next bill!   

The Gogo thing will be on a separate app... which to me already raises several question about profitability, uptake, etc.

Quoting MIflyer12 (Reply 16):
Gogo coul prioritize available bandwidth to voice calls. An easy 128kbps/active call out of the theoretical ~10mbps stream should be adequate.

The technology exist for good quality 24kbps calls, and basic voice cut down to 4-6kbps.
These have been available for a few years in the cabin connectivity industry...
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ual747den
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:37 pm

I remember when Verizon first came out with a service to let you log into the seatback phone using a PIN code and the inflight phone could actually receive calls that were placed to your cell phone number and when the service first rolled out the rates were actually really good. I used to log in on flights and when I would get a call while inflight I could choose to answer the call or not but to answer the call you had to put your PIN code into the seat back phone then the call would be routed up to the aircraft. At the time I worked in the wireless industry and my employee rate was even better so it really wasn't so bad to talk on the phone. I used it a few times mostly as a novelty and to demonstrate the service to new potential customers. As long as you were aware of the people around you it wasn't so bad.

Now with EVERYONE having a cell phone and the potential of people using their cell phones just as they would on the ground for useless crap I could see this going very bad very quick. I like the idea of having text available (more so than it already is via iMessage) and think that this could be a valuable and useful service. I would imagine that most carriers would do as much as possible to limit voice calls and I wouldn't mind that idea what so ever.
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cosyr
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sun Nov 10, 2013 5:17 pm

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 19):
2. Require the phones to be put on silent/vibrate.
3. Courtesy (eg: be quiet!) to other passengers.

These two policies are pointless if the conversation itself is the loud part.

Quoting pqdtw (Reply 15):
Years ago I would have been more irritated by such a move, but the truth of the matter is that people tend to text more nowadays than to place an actual voice call

Some people talk less and text more. Some still talk exclusively (like myself) and with 100 people on a plane, at least a couple wanting to take advantage of this service will be talkers not texters, and someone else is sitting next to them.

Quoting flydeltajets (Reply 13):
Inflight wifi is so slow I dont see reliable phone calls being made.

What I actually hoped for in the past was that airlines would send data in packets, so you couldn't have continuous information sent. Texts would have no problem, websites would load, but voice would not work. However, airlines can't do that now, because video would not work either.
 
MIflyer12
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RE: Gogo To Offer Inflight Talk And Text

Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:29 pm

Quoting cosyr (Reply 21):
What I actually hoped for in the past was that airlines would send data in packets, so you couldn't have continuous information sent. Texts would have no problem, websites would load, but voice would not work. However, airlines can't do that now, because video would not work either.

Most long distance calls use packets.

Streaming video - Netflix, Amazon Prime - is sent as packets.

VOIP calls - Comcast telephone, Magic Jack, Vonage - are packets.

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