Emirates has announced affordable sky internet charges but left unanswered questions as to how it will deal with bandwidth assassins and loud mouthed Masters of the Universe and their iPhones.

It says it will cost $US 7.50 to keep your Blackberry connected all the way to Frankfurt from Dubai in its announcement of personal computer and mobile device charges on its A380s released today.

The full details as released are published at the end of this report.

However those who really value good connectivity for whatever type of device they are using will be hungry for more detail, and unfortunately, that may not be made forthcoming for hours, meaning an eternity, as far as as those of us who want-it-all-now are concerned, including the writer.

Is Emirates going to suppress voice links over a Blackberry or iPhone or on Skype on my MacBook?  Personally, I don’t want the intrusion of voice connections in an airliner, especially on an A380, which is so quiet it would only take one loud mouthed Masterbanker to drive several hundred people nuts in next to no time.  But I also need to know the answers, because, hell, I have some pretty scary readers.

(Try telling them Qantas is The New Spirit at your peril, not because they like or dislike Qantas, but because they hate cr*p marketing dribble, unless they’ve authored it.)

What we need to know about sky internet and mobile device plans, whether from Emirates, or Qantas, which will be running trials in one of its A380s soon, or Virgin Australia, which has vaguely said it is all a good idea and we’re having a hug in to work out what we’ll do, is exactly what we will get in terms of speed, available services and data limits.

Which is what almost every media announcement ever made about in-flight connectivity refuses to spell out.

Remember Connexion by Boeing? It was actually very good, except to Boeing, which killed it, although it was designed to exclude mobile devices, which was about as smart as making jets out of glued and baked plastic, but I digress.

The X factor that imperiled Connexion was the use of apps like TV anywhere, which meant you could interrogate a black box installed in your home and get it to relay in real time any TV program you might have watched there, but now wanted to watch somewhere over central Siberia, which hogged so much bandwidth it only took a few like minded passengers to reduce Connexion to the beachball of death/ blue screen of doom state.

So, just how the various new sky internet services deal with bandwidth assassins is an important question. As is what happens if 400 people on an Emirates A380 all pay their money, log in at the same time, and get nothing because when you divide the available bandwidth by 400 you aren’t even going to get past the start screen.

I like what Emirates says, below, but will I actually get anything useful?

Emirates Launches A380 Connectivity

Wi-Fi in the sky begins on 11 Emirates A380s, with more to come.

13 December 2011 – Customers on a growing number of Emirates A380s can now surf, share, email, or tweet their way across the Emirates network as the airline launches Wi-Fi internet connectivity with leading industry service provider, OnAir.

Customers can access the service of the Wi-Fi in the sky onboard their flight using their Wi Fi enabled devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops. All customers have to do is open up their device’s wireless connections, log on to the OnAir network and follow the simple steps to access the internet. As part of a proving phase, customers onboard many A380 flights have been using the service for many months already as the system was installed and activated on the first few A380s last year.

“Emirates recognises that being connected inflight is increasingly important especially on our longer flights. Adding internet access is going to be a vital and ubiquitous part of any inflight experience, just as it is in everyday life on the ground,” said Patrick Brannelly, Vice President Corporate Communications Product, Publishing, Digital and Events. “As a result of our testing, we were able to learn a lot about what people like to do with the internet inflight and are pleased to be able to launch with very affordable pricing options.”

“Emirates has led the way in mobile phone use onboard with 91 aircraft currently allowing the service,” he added.  “We are obviously delighted to launch OnAir Wi-Fi on our A380 Aircraft and we will continue to invest in additional communications products across our entire fleet.”

Wi-Fi services will initially launch on 11 of 19 Emirates A380s currently in-service, with the system due to be installed both now and in the future across the entire fleet of 71 Emirates A380s on order. In addition to Wi-Fi, from mid-2012 all new Emirates A380s will be delivered with a full range of Wi-Fi, mobile phone and mobile data services.

“Emirates is continuously introducing the latest advanced technology to its customers for use on board out fleet. Making inflight connectivity available is a value added service that Emirates customers will highly enjoy; this is particularly true of our A380 fleet, since the aircraft is the epitome of modern airline technology,” added Adel Al Redha, Emirates Executive Vice President, Engineering and Operations. “With the OnAir product onboard, Emirates ensures our passengers will enjoy being connected in the sky on our most advanced aircraft.”

Price plans start at just US $7.50 for mobile devices and US $15 on laptops for generous data packages that allow plenty of internet at an accessible price. The US $7.50 package should be sufficient for the average Blackberry user to stay connected all the way from Dubai to Paris – a flight of over six and one half hours.