1. Not enough users. Too rosy a picture of users flocking to the service. In all I can say that I only had conversations with a total of 10 people in flight in use. Given who we all know and their personal travel patterns that is a very low number. 2. Differentiated content was lacking. The video was really lame.
3. Lack of commitment by Boeing. Boeing should not have been in the comms business. So this is their bloody nose for trying.
4. Lack of support by the airline I. We all know that net access is a drug. So give us the drug for free so we get addicted then smack us hard for fees afterwards.
5. Lack of support by the airlines II. None of the US airlines supported it so it really withered on the vine.
6.Skype. Surprisingly good service on Skype meant that if you were going to use the VoiP why would you pay for it? Voice was part of the business model
7. Pipes are cheap so why the cost?
Those of you (me included) who dread cell phone conversations on board planes can probably rest easier. The airlines are going to take a fresh look at the technology and see if it warrants the demand. We all know that the reception will be crap anyway. If they couldn’t make Telephones on planes work why will cell phones.
Broadband vendors might rethink their ability to hook into airline systems. Email may be good enough.
Personally I am very disappointed that the service will be discontinued. I really enjoyed it – better than much of the lame content on board a plane anyway. For really long haul flights (think 777-LR and A340-500) it should be offered as a service anyway to prevent us from going mad.