Gogo’s in-flight Wi-Fi will soon let you make calls and send texts using your smartphones, apart from letting you surf the internet.
The new capabilities, which are expected to debut next year, use a custom app for iPhone and Android to manage calling and texting, though messages will come from the device owner’s own number.
Gogo’s iPhone app for text and voice is already live on the App Store, but the service, as noted in the app description, is only available for business aircrafts and not commercial airliners. Here are a few screenshots:
Many travellers would of course prefer that co-passengers do not talk on the phone while in the flight and Gogo will only enable texting and not voice calls in domestic (US only) flights. The company says voice calls are a much requested for feature in international flights, but not “socially accepted” in the U.S.
There’s still no word on pricing, but here are some of the options it is looking at:
Selling a bundle of texts or minutes, offering it as an add-on to its standard Wi-Fi, partnering with carriers or even offering some texting for free supported by advertising.
Let us know what you think about this service that would let people make phone calls on airplanes.