I’ve been experimenting with VoicePulse Connect!: I’ve got a Peterborough, NH number set up to send calls, via IAX, to my Asterisk server, and I’m dialing out from the same server, again via IAX. The advantage of the incoming setup is that it allows toll-free calls from my customer in southern New Hamphire, and the advantage of the outgoing is that I can make long distance calls for 2.95 cents/minute ($US) in North America.
Quality-wise things have been mixed.
I bridged a call into my Eastlink line (also running into the Asterisk server) with an incoming VoicePulse call yesterday (using the handy Asterisk MeetMe application, which makes it very easy). The people on the other end of the VoicePulse call were on a speakerphone, and their voices were “pixelated” (for lack of a better word). There was another person, not on a speakerphone, conferenced in on their end, and his quality was much better, so I assume this is a mixture of challenges of the speakerphone (which has never been excellent) and silence detection cutting off quiet voices (people closer to the speakerphone came in much louder).
For regular handset-to-handset calls, I’ve found incoming calls on the VoicePulse number to be very clear and “telephone call-like” while outcalls, both to the U.S. and Canada, have suffered, at least today, from a lot of clicking and popping and crosstalk. Of course because of the number of steps along the way, it’s difficult to isolate the source of these problems, and I’m sure at least some of them are bandwidth related, either on my end, or somewhere along the way.
So far I’m willing to continue to experiment, as the quality is still “good enough.” It’s possible that with some configuration changes on my end, I can improve things too.