I haven't really talked about AirCell or its Gogo inflight Internet access service since it first became available on American Airlines. But Andy Abramson turned me on to a little experiment with the service that he and Laptop Magazine's Joanna Stern did yesterday that is absolutely worthy of mention.
Andy reports that he and Joanna were able to carry on a voice conversation via Aircell Gogo while Joanna was on an American Airlines flight to New York. The service was designed to make voice communication "impossible" at the airlines' requests, but Andy concluded that it would be possible if he used a Flash-based voice application like Phweet and he was right.
Joanna liveblogged the flight. Her post goes through all the different communication services she tried over her five-hour flight, and how they performed.
Kudos to Andy and Joanna for their persistence. They proved once again that "impossible" is a hard claim to make about any aspect of technology. This is proof of the old saying, where there's a will, there's a way.
Andy likes to tell people that he's not an engineer type of person, but he has an encyclopedic knowledge of the wireless services and applications that are available.
I reached out to Andy over this past weekend to ask what he thought the best way to access the Internet was from a moving train along The Northeast Corridor. Before speaking to him, I was lead to believe that I needed a wireless data card for my laptop, a $60 per month service plan, and a two-year contract.Andy figured out a way to get the same access at a fraction of the monthly cost, with no contractual commitment. I tried his solution this morning for the first time, and it worked amazingly well. I'd go into more detail about it right here, but the solution deserves it's own post. Or several.