We've got good news for frequent fliers in Europe and Australia: Qantas and Ryanair (this author's personal fav airline for obvious reason) have announced their respective additions of picocells for in-flight calling, texting, and presumably (eventually) also data. Qantas Boeing 767s and Ryanair 737s will begin rolling out AirBus subsidiary OnAir's cellular satellite uplinked connections to their customers as early as June or July 2007 in Ryanair's case, with full rollout on that fleet expected in 2008. We don't know how much further behind launch Qantas is, but obviously they've stated their intentions to enter the in-flight cell arena, so it's only a matter of time. Too bad that Connexion was scrapped just when things are looking up for future-thinking fliers, but maybe, just maybe we finally can all throw out the ages-old argument of cellphones being dangerous for use in flight.
P.S. -Uh, please don't whip out your phones in flight. You do realize that it's still illegal in the US right? Use your phone on a plane that's not parked or taxiing and the FAA and TSA might disembowel you on the spot for the infraction. Kthxbye.
Read - Qantas
Read - Ryanair