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Verizon Wireless chats with AOL … even in the air

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Of relative importance, for us who do not use US cellular telecommunications, the first news: AIM becomes part of the bouquet of services that Verizon Wireless can offer its subscribers.

Definitely more interesting is the second news always from Verizon Wireless (the cellular division of the company born from the merger in 2000 between Bell Atlantic and GTE, Verizon, with the contribution of the multinational Vodafone): JetConnect the new service present on a large number of airlines to make calls (but not only) using the equipment that is now found in every aircraft seat, paying by credit card.

With a variable figure between 5 and 10 dollars you can connect the laptop (maximum 46 at the same time per jet) to the JetConnect socket and for the entire duration of the flight you will chat with all connected (on the plane and on the ground) with Yahoo services ! and AOL (therefore, it can be deduced, also with Mac OS X iChat) or you can send SMS, read various news, consult maps and city guides.

JetConnect can be new lifeblood for the battered Airfone. Verizon's “on board” telephony system (formerly GTE) present on the planes of American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines, British Airways, Thai Airways International and also the “local” Alitalia, perhaps too lean as well as expensive. Hence the choice to use new, more advanced and flexible systems.

JetConnect will be on about one hundred aircraft by the end of the year.