The maverick Irish airline Ryanair has a long history of pushing the envelope with its business practices, whether it's offering free tickets supported by advertising and gambling or banning employees from charging their phones at work so as to save money on electricity. Now it's moving forward on plans to allow in-flight cell phone use, and of course it smells profit opportunities. The company hopes that by next June it will be able to offer the service using a technology that will essentially turn each plane into a floating cell tower and turn Ryanair into its own mobile operator. Of course, the company plans to charge substantial roaming fees, to the tune of a few dollars per minute. Still, it's unclear what regulatory hurdles to offering the service remain, and it's possible the EU will want to regulate these fees, as it's prone to do when it deems them to be too high. But while some may grouse about Ryanair's aggressive use of extra fees, the smart traveller's trip is subsidized by those who can't resist temptations like on-board calling.
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