Despite the EU embracing modern technology and making an effort to get mobile phones functioning safely on airplanes, the FCC and the FAA are still being sticks in the mud. Both organizations have absolutely no interest in allowing cell service in planes, putting them at odds with both foreign airlines and its passengers.
It seems the FCC received numerous complaints and other objections to deploying cell technology in planes, ranging from safety to security concerns. The FAA has also enacted a ban for years, setting back any companies looking to pilot airplane-cell technologies in the near future. Perhaps with success on EU airliners, the FCC and FAA might be encouraged to change their stance. Ultimately, it will be the customers who get their way - and if people want cell phones in planes, they will have to find a way to make it happen.