Mobile phone usage coming to Ryanair

And they don’t have a profit center built around this new product.  According to the carrier’s head honcho Michael O’Leary mobile phone usage will be coming by the end of the month on an experimental basis, pending final regulatory approval.  Rates will be “normal” roaming rates, with O’Leary stating that “There’s no way that we can take a cut” of the revenue from the service.  I actually find that hard to believe since they have to carry the equipment to facilitate the service which will cost them money, but I guess we have to believe him since he’s made the claim and I can’t prove otherwise.

Particularly entertaining to me is the concerns people are sharing of the middle-of-the-night call somewhere over the Atlantic or other long-haul flights.  First-off, Emirates already allows some mobile usage on their longhaul flights and the crew can shut off the service on the night flights.  Second, Ryanair doesn’t fly longhaul flights.  And it isn’t clear based on the articles I’ve seen, but I’m willing to bet that they will be using a terrestrial service, not a satellite service for the connectivity, meaning it wouldn’t be available over the oceans even if the airline flew those routes.

I’ve made calls on planes before, back when Verizon owned the Airfone service in the USA and it wasn’t too expensive for their customers.  And I’d do it again in a similar situation, but it just isn’t worthwhile for random conversations.  Considering that folks are already cutting back on discretionary spending with respect to mobile phones (see Vodaphone’s earnings announcement from this quarter if you don’t believe me), I doubt that this is really as big an issue as people are making it out to be.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.