ITU findings challenged in latency whitepaper by Spearline

Spearline has launched a whitepaper for contact centres on the impact of voice latency on business growth.
On Wednesday 24 July 2019 by Orla Clancy
Matthew Lawlor, Co-Founder and CTO at Spearline



Spearline, a network intelligence company in the telecommunications industry, has launched a whitepaper for contact centers on the impact of voice latency on business growth.


Latency is the time from when one person speaks to when the other person hears. Spearline’s research examined today’s global network latency and the dynamic interplay of multiple carrier networks in different countries. The 2003 International Telecoms Union (ITU) recommendations state that where latency reaches 500ms, nearly all users are dissatisfied. However, the Spearline study finds that latency becomes an issue when mouth to ear delay exceeds 800ms. 


Speaking about the impact of latency on voice communications, Matthew Lawlor, Co-Founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Spearline said, “We have all had some experience where poor audio quality or long delays are a barrier to good conversation. This may be moving through a poor signal area when travelling by train, or it could be using a fixed-line from your home or office. When a customer service call suffers a poor connection, customer experience is impacted, which has repercussions for the business as a whole. For large contact centers, where metrics such as average call duration are key, the impact of latency is very real. The costs, both financial and in terms of customer satisfaction, can quickly add up.”

“Due to latency, the duration of a (contact center) call increases and customer and agent satisfaction decreases. In turn, this can adversely impact business growth in terms of the cost of the calls, customer satisfaction and staff and customer churn. For UC providers high latency can cause talkover for customers on a conference which can be a hugely frustrating experience. While our research shows an increased tolerance for latency in comparison to the ITU 2003 findings, the best way to build customer loyalty and maximise ROI is through proactive management of communications channels.” continued Mr Lawlor.


Headquartered in Skibbereen, Co Cork with offices in Waterford, Romania and India, Spearline is the leading network intelligence company in the telecommunications industry. The Spearline platform enables enterprises and telecommunications service providers to test connectivity and quality on global telecoms networks, testing automatically at volume. It has conducted millions of test calls worldwide, resulting in billions of data-points. Spearline operates a 24 hours per day, 365 days per year support service for customers.  


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Media contact: Orla Clancy at / +353(0)87 938 8882.