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Twilio’s Voice Insights lets developers manage WebRTC call quality in apps

Voice Insights feature within the Twilio Console

As a provider of cloud communications, call quality is important for Twilio because if someone has a poor experience, it doesn’t reflect well on a company that wants to disrupt the telecommunications space. On Tuesday, Twilio launched an analytics offering in beta for developers called Voice Insights that to manage the WebRTC calls and programmatically adjust their apps to provide the best quality possible.

The release comes on the same day Twilio announced it had entered into an agreement to acquire Kurento’s WebRTC media server technology.

Web Real-Time Communication, or WebRTC, is a standard of communication protocols and APIs enabling peer-to-peer conversations to take place. To date, Twilio claims that more than a billion minutes of this type of calls are handled by its platform allowing the team to learn “a lot about network and device variances that affect call quality.” While Twilio has had internal metrics around network performance, now it’s being made available to customers directly, something Patrick Malatack, vice president of product management, said ensures “developers have the information they need to build highly performant applications.”

Previously, when developers experienced call quality issues, it was nearly impossible to diagnose where the problem was, either from the network, a carrier, or even Twilio. “We built Voice Insights to allow customers to self-diagnose what was going on during the call — whether it was poor Wi-Fi, slow network connections, faulty headset, or even misconfigured microphone settings,” Malatack explained. The expectation is that with additional information, developers can adjust the app experience for their users accordingly both at the individual call level and in aggregate.

Metrics that are included in this offering include analyzing latency, jitter, audio input and output, received packets lost, and mean opinion score (MOS).

When utilized, developers can trigger certain actions based on Voice Insights. For example, if you’re having a real-time call with a customer care center through a browser or app and Twilio senses a problem, the developer could program the app to display messages instructing you how to improve the call quality, such as “check headset connection” or “poor network coverage.”

But it doesn’t have to be situational either — since it’s analytics, developers are able to study the data of each call while it’s taking place and seeing how it’s reflected in the caller feedback, thereby providing a way to identify what exactly went wrong with the call quality. Over the long-term, developers and companies can review the performance of WebRTC calls among their various Android and iOS apps, carriers, and connections to determine the next course of action with their solutions.

Voice Insights currently only supports Twilio’s Programmable Voice Client, but it’s believed that this analytics tool will extend to other products in the future. The service is available starting at $0.004 per call minute and every Twilio customer using version 1.3 or later of its client can enable Voice Insights through the Twilio Console.

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