Greg Galitzine : Greg Galitzine's VoIP Authority Blog
Greg Galitzine

Jim Carlini is wrong.

To be honest, I never thought I'd start my blogging career on such a negative note, but there it is.

In Jim's recent article on, he takes VoIP and its cheerleaders to task for overhyping the technology.

He claims that, "In certain applications, VoIP just isn't the way to go. Period."
I'm not quite sure I know what those apps are. In fact VoIP would enable many more applications than it might possibly hinder. Think Unified Communications, ad hoc conferencing, and the like.

I also take issue with Jim's assertion regarding VoIP and the reliabilty issue. While it's true that VoIP deployments that were not designed for full feature redundancy and survivability can be affected by a power outage, this is no differnet than how circuit switched telecom can be affected by a backhoe accidentally digging up a fiber bundle.

If you want a fully redundant, reliable, four-or-five nines uptime VoIP system, you can have one -- you just have to pay for overengineering the solution. It's true that that adds to the total cost of the deployment, but like the old adage, you gotta pay if you wanna play.

Studies have shown that over a five or 10-year ROI period, VoIP systems generally win out over traditional systems on cost.

Note: it might be more expensive in the short term to compare VoIP to circuit switched... It may in some situations necessitate major capital expenditure, but in the end the whole world is moving to IP --failure to invest in the future will only spell doom.

As for deriving revenue while giving the voice awy for "free" there are many ways to skin that cat. VoIP may be free, but only if you consider a flat monthly rate "free." The add-on apps such as voice-mail, directory assistance, caller-ID, dial by name, etc... those are the things VoIP service providers can charge for and make money off of. (Not to mention the apps noone's even thought of yet.) Look at today's cell phone model: 40 bucks gets you 400 minutes, basic voice mail, and a few other things. If you want to add certain apps, like text messaging or enhanced billing, that's extra.

Now the part that's going to get me in trouble. Regulation. I'm of the opinion that VoIP should remain UNREGULATED for now. UNTAXED, and UN-MESSED WITH. But that's for now. I'd be guilty of having my head in the sand if I thought VoIP would remain unregulated forever. But frankly, the government gets its share off ABSOLUTLEY EVERY OTHER PRODUCT/SERVICE out there. In the end, VoIP will be ensnared too. But this is a whole 'nother discussion. Some forms of VoIP should and will remain free of regulation. Some won't.

It's simple really. VoIP is here. It's maturing, and it's going to replace and become the status quo. There's no arguing. Not a single circuit-switch vendor is digging in their heels. Just the opposite, they're all offering transitional products en route to an all-IP telephony stable of solutions. Nortel, Lucent, Alcatel, Siemens... they're all on board. And the service providers they serve are on board as well. It's just a matter of time.

Feedback for


Sorry Greg but you must not have a strong background in mission critical networks. You admit that VoIP was not designed to have redundancy and that's my point. How many networks have you designed??? My editorial stands. There are applications that VoIP does not fit into and your lack of knowing any doesn't make you right. What it tells me is that you have bought off on the hype and glitter - a bad thing to do if you are involved in stock exchange networks and 911 Systems. AND - it is not the same as a backhoe cutting into a fiber. SONET by definition has redundant rings. Maybe you should do a little more research and talk with those that really work on networks before making such bold, yet misguided, statements.

Greg - one more thing. As for no taxes on VoIP, none of the traditional carriers are going to stand for someone else offering services that they can't competete with. Their lobbyists are going to scream and moan about unfair playing fields - and in some cases VoIP is going to be saddled with surcharges. Not defending them, but just putting things in a realistic perspective.

Now that some time has passed, it looks like my view was right on target. How about an editorial congratulating me on seeing how VOIP would evolve?
VOIP will not be free and will probably have social responsibility taxes tacked on to it.

So much for the "experts" saying I was wrong.

Wow, VoIP is getting almost as partisan as politics!

No one can predict the future perfectly, and both of you have well-supported viewpoints.

However, above all, VoIP IS the way to go.

It's in the early stages of innovation, even the original telephone had some issues when it first came out.

Give it time, and it will flourish into a powerful and efficient technology.

You are right on the money with this one. Well said!

Chris Scanlon

Featured Events