What is latency?
Simply put, latency is a delay or lag and is often seen about as one of the few drawbacks of cloud voice systems. In terms of VoIP, latency is the time it takes for audio data to be transferred from the original destination to the final destination. Put in simpler terms, it’s the delay between the time a person speaks to the recipient hearing those words.
What effect does latency have on SIP calls?
Most of the time, it’s not something that should impact your conversations or cause a whole lot of irritation. Without getting too technical, latency is measured in milliseconds, with a latency of 20ms being normal for VoIP calls. Even 150 ms of latency is generally accepted across the industry as it is barely noticeable, but anything longer than this and it will start to interfere with call quality.
We’ve all been on calls where delay between the person speaking and the rest of the group is severely delayed, leading to stop-start conversation and people awkwardly talking over each other. Well you can thank latency for that. When this happens once in a blue moon, people can usually accept it and it can be attributed to a poor connection. But if this lag occurs during an important meeting or interview, or if it starts to happen more frequently- like during team brainstorming sessions- it can severely affect workflows and communications, which we would all rather avoid.
So how do you combat latency?
Many providers will shift the blame completely to the customer and suggest checking your internet speed or bandwidth or tell you to move closer to your router. While these measures can sometimes be a help, at Telnyx we know that the onus is as much on the provider as it is on the customer. That’s why we’ve taken a more comprehensive approach to dealing with potential latency issues.
We’ve built a global, private network so that your media is carried over a fiber backbone that is not overloaded and maintained and managed by our engineers.
Telnyx Private Network
This means your calls avoid the public Internet's technical pitfalls of poor call quality and dropped calls, thereby reducing the latency usually experienced over public networks. But that’s not all.
We’ve gone one step further and put the control in the hands of our customers with AnchorSite™, which is available in the portal. We built AnchorSite™ to proactively monitor the latency from your endpoints to our points of presence (PoP) to determine the best route for your media to take to get off the public internet as fast as possible. AnchorSite™ then routes your call media through the PoP with the lowest latency, thereby greatly improving call quality for our end users.
For those who want a bit more control over their traffic routing, Telnyx also gives you the option to route your traffic through whatever PoP you want, so certain media never has to leave a specific location or jurisdiction.
Who can use Anchorsite™?
It’s fair to say pretty much everyone would like to reduce call latency. But for businesses who interact with lots of customers on a daily basis- such as contact centers and communications platforms- reducing latency is often a core objective.
For contact centers, a high quality network is of the utmost importance. Networks that consistently underperform can have a detrimental effect on workflows and, perhaps most importantly, customer satisfaction. High latency means voice packets arriving at different times so it’s near impossible to have a back and forth conversation- making issue resolution even more difficult.
Telnyx customer Replicant knows how important it is to have a consistent low “talk-time” latency. They are building a conversational AI technology that creates automated interactions with customers, without lag, latency, or interruption. Acceptable latency for their AI is one second or less to create authentic and natural interactions with customers.
When they switched to Telnyx, Replicant cut their talk-time from more than 3 seconds to under 1 second, enhancing the service they offer to their customers.
And a low-latency network is just as important for communications platforms who often require a two-way transfer of information. High-latency networks limit the amount of information that can be transmitted, which is less than ideal when your platform is serving hundreds, if not thousands of customers.
Ooma is a smart communication platform that creates powerful connected experiences for businesses all over the globe and they chose to partner with Telnyx to offer their voice and messaging services in part due to the AnchorSite™ feature available in Mission Control.
Ooma anchors their call media through multiple Telynx PoPs to take advantage of shorter network paths and lower latency. “With Telnyx, we’re able to get coverage all over the world through one API and one point of contact,” said Dayton Turner, Ooma VP of Enterprise Product.
How to set up AnchorSite™?
AnchorSite™ is available to all users in the Mission Control Portal and couldn’t be easier to set up. Follow along with the video below:
After you have set up your portal account navigate to the ‘SIP Connections’ tab in the left-hand menu.
AnchorSite™ in Mission Control
For all your SIP connections you’ll see a column labeled “AnchorSite™”. This defaults to ‘Latency’ for each connection if you don’t specify. On each connection you’ll find a dropdown menu where you can set the AnchorSite™ that you desire.
Choosing an AnchorSite™ in Mission Control
For example, if you are a company based in Dublin and most of your traffic is going to the UK, then it would make sense to set your AnchorSite to London to shorten the network path and reduce latency. Similarly if you and your customers are Chicago based, you can choose to route your media through the Chicago PoP, to minimise the distance it travels on the public internet.
And that’s all there is to it! Minimise the chances of high call latency with Telnyx AnchorSite™.
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