Verizon Airfone, the guys who operate the wonderfully expensive phones on commercial airliners, is calling it quits and will cease operations before the end of the year. Verizon’s FCC license was set to expire in 2010 anyways and it has dropped out of the auctioning process.
Airfone has been on commercial and government planes for more than two decades. Now those phones and supporting equipment have to be ripped out of commercial airline seats. Corporate and government service will continue.
With the proliferation of laptops and VoIP, airlines believe wireless hotspots will be a more economical way to providing communication than the expensive capital investment of fixed phones.