Verizon Airfone drops out of in-flight auction

In a puzzling move, Verizon Airfone has dropped out of the auction for licenses allowing it to provide in-flight Internet and other telecommunications services. Verizon Airfone was the winning bidder in early rounds, but it stopped bidding and violated auction rules that required participation to keep it eligible. "We just decided to stop bidding," said Bill Pallone, the president of Verizon Airfone. He wouldn't elaborate further. Based on comments from Verizon Airfone in recent months, it appeared in-flight wireless was going to be a big business for the company. It had already spelled out its plans for implementing in-flight wireless once it secured a license and had been conducting in-flight demonstrations with commercial airlines since September 2004 using CDMA technology. In June 2005 it received FAA approval of cabin equipment, and in July it completed its first commercially-packaged air radio prototype.

To read more about Verizon's exit from the in-flight auction:
- check out this article from The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)

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