COVID-19 impacts international telecoms as connection rates decline in Italy, Spain, France and Germany

Research on the impact of COVID-19 on international telecommunications has been released by Spearline.
On Friday 20 March 2020 by Orla Clancy

Press release - March 19, 2020


Research on the impact of COVID-19 on international telecommunications has been released by Spearline, a technology company that monitors international phone numbers for connectivity and audio quality. 


Spearline’s aggregate platform data provides insights into how networks are performing. 


Italy's connection rate continues to be volatile with as much as a 10% failure rate. Audio quality is running approximately 4% below normal levels. 


Spain has seen a notable drop in connection rates to a 98.5% success on March 16, 2020 but it is improving again. A mild variation was noted with audio quality (+/- 1%), but it is relatively stable. 


France saw a significant dip in connection rates, approaching 5%, with failures noted on March 17, 2020. Good quality has been maintained, though periodic slippage has been observed.


In Germany, a declining connection rate is showing, with 1.7% failures noted on March 17, 2020.  Good quality has been maintained, though periodic slippage is showing.


Speaking about the findings, Kevin Buckley, co-founder and CEO at Spearline said: “Affected countries are significantly restricting the movement of individuals, imposing travel freezes and implementing work-from-home (WfH) arrangements. This has led to a high increase in demand for both video and audio calls, and has caused a strain on telecommunications networks across afflicted regions and countries.  We are closely monitoring countries globally that have been most impacted by COVID-19.”


Spearline has servers in over 70 countries, covers 89% of GDP and reaches 90% of landlines globally.  It has conducted millions of test calls worldwide, resulting in billions of data-points. Spearline operates a support service 24 hours per day, 365 days per year for its customers internationally.  


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For further information or to arrange an interview with Kevin Buckley, contact Orla Clancy, senior corporate communications manager at Spearline. Ph.: +353 (0)87 938 8882. E:


Further Information


Other countries affected by the COVID-19 that are showing signs of connection failures and audio quality degradation are included in the table below.  Figures cited are as of March 18, 2020 (total cases and cases-per-1M).



* Cases confirmed figures from John Hopkins University 

* Cases per 1M population figures from Worldometers