Last month we reported that nine companies including Verizon’s
Airfone, JetBlue’s LiveTV, AirCell and Arcadia’s Broadband were bidding for frequencies
that would allow air travelers to access the internet and VOIP, in-flight. The FCC has announced that JetBlue’s LiveTV
and AirCell have won the bidding.
JetBlue's LiveTV spent $7 million for a 1 megahertz wireless
license, while AirCell Inc. spent $31.3 million for the 3 megahertz license that
was up for auction. Verizon, which
currently uses the space that was auctioned off dropped out of the bidding
early and will have to limit its use of the auctioned spectrum and cease using
it all together in May of 2010.
Verizon's AirFone service historically hasn’t done well due
to its enormous cost to consumers, however the AirFone unit has been looking at
offering some type of wireless high-speed internet access aimed at business
travelers. The results of the FCC auction look to be putting those plans to