The 3 worst countries in the world for voice connectivity and audio quality

Inbound voice service offerings are more intelligent than ever before. But what about quality?


The global troublespots for voice calls

We looked at the results of test calls placed in each of the 49 countries selected for analysis and this report highlights the poorest and best performing countries for both connectivity and audio quality. So where are the global troublespots when it comes to calls that never reach their endpoint? Our research into test calls placed throughout 2020 highlights the three worst performing countries for connectivity.

These are test calls created in-country, through standard phone lines, where the call fails to connect to the desired toll or toll free phone number. Or the customer call that never makes it to the contact centre, where the agent is sitting and waiting to talk.

The worst three countries for connectivity during 2020 were:


Average connection rate/ASR 

 UAE 99.12%
 Brazil 99.49%
 Vietnam 99.56%

Factors that impact quality in these countries

Vietnam might consider some of its challenges to be associated with the disruption-prone undersea cable known as the Asia Pacific Gateway (AGP) which has undergone a significant program of repair in the first quarter of 2021. As the UAE pressed forward with 5G roll-out across the country, subscribers to telecommunications services hit record highs, placing significant demands on network resources. TRA, the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, announced at end-May that mobile subscriptions rose to 184.4 per 100 UAE inhabitants.

There are some factors which influence connectivity in every country, including local management of public infrastructures, carrier-level change management, and natural disasters. Other factors and pressures can also impact performance and in 2020, a global pandemic certainly challenged many network providers as population centers moved to lockdown conditions and remote working.


2020’s poorest performing countries for audio quality

The three lowest performing countries for average PESQ (audio quality) scores in 2020 were:  

 Country Audio Quality Score
 Thailand 3.14
 Peru 3.16
 Taiwan 3.32

There are many factors which can have an impact on audio quality, such as low volume, clipping and audio distortions, but the main cause of poor quality across the world is transcoding. Transcoding is the compression of audio in order to reduce the bandwidth needed to conduct a call. While transcoding saves on bandwidth it does have an affect on audio quality.

Find out more

You can find out more about our insights into why these countries performed poorly, as well as more on the global state of inbound voice services in our whitepaper – 2020 Global telecoms quality of service report.

Download it below to uncover more findings on connectivity, audio quality and post dial delay globally.

Download your FREE whitepaper

About us

Spearline is the telecommunication industry’s leading network intelligence company. We proactively test toll and toll-free numbers for connectivity, audio quality, and more, globally. For further information, or if you have any questions, please get in touch with us.

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