How global low-latency routing and region selection work for conferences and Client calls

In which scenarios is global low-latency routing relevant, and in which scenarios would it be unlikely to make a difference?

Twilio’s paid conference product features global low-latency (GLL) region selection which reduces audio latency in call scenarios where two or more parties are being connected in a region other than the United States. Using GLL, conference audio latency will be reduced in cases where two or more parties are physically close to one another, but far from the United States. For example, a call from Sydney to Sydney will see the greatest benefit from global low-latency as the difference from a locally routed media path and a media path that routes through the United States is the greatest. A conference call where all participants are dialing in from European countries which is mixed in Ireland will have lower audio latency for all parties versus the same conference mixed in the United States.

Global low-latency provides less benefit when the distance between the parties on the calls is greater and there is less of a distance between the length of a media path routed through a region or the US. For example, a call from Mexico City to London will have a similar audio latency whether it is routed through the US or Ireland. A conference call where participants are in the Asia-Pacific and South America regions will provide lower audio latency for the APAC participants if mixed in Tokyo/Singapore, or lower latency to the South America participants if mixed in Sao Paulo, but due to the large distance between participants, one group of participants will always experience increased latency; however, if global low-latency is disabled and audio is mixed in the US audio latency will be suboptimal for all participants.

Global low latency does not provide a benefit for one-party calls. 

How do global low-latency conferences identify which region to use?

Once a moderator joins, (a moderator is any conference participant whose startConferenceOnEnter parameter is set to true) the conference will begin and its audio will need to be mixed, and it is during the setup of this conference audio mixing that the region determination is made. Twilio’s internal services will note the regions of the participants joining the conference during setup and will make the determination of which region to use based on where the largest number of participants are located. In the event of a two-party conference the region of the first participant dictates the selection. Once the conference has started, the region does not change and additional participants joining from other regions cannot influence the region selection process.

You can also specify the region a conference is mixed in via TwiML.

How do browsers identify which Twilio region to connect to?

For Client 1.2 and later, Twilio Client performs a real-time DNS latency evaluation when Twilio.Device.setup() is called and the application opens a websocket connection to our gateway.

In Client 1.3 and later the region selection may be specified during Twilio.Device.setup(). In each case the region will remain the same until the device setup is called again.

How are PSTN calls associated with a region?

For incoming PSTN calls Twilio will tag that inbound call with with the region of the server where the inbound call was received. For outgoing PSTN calls Twilio will use the region where Twilio’s connection to the carrier being used to terminate the call is located.

How is the region determined for SIP trunking calls?

Each trunk has localized termination SIP URIs to deliver traffic to a specific region: https://www.twilio.com/user/account/sip-trunking/your-network

How is the region determined for SIP domains or TwiML <Sip> calls?

For calls sent to Twilio SIP domains, a localized SIP URI can be used to deliver calls to a specific region. For calls to SIP endpoints using TwiML <Dial><Sip> an optional region parameter can be added to the <Sip> noun's URI to ensure the call leaves Twilio from the specified region.

What about calls dequeued using TwiML <Queue>?

Any calls dequeued using TwiML <Queue> are routed through the US region and as such do not utilize the global low-latency infrastructure. However, if an enqueued call is instead redirected to a Global Conference, the conference region would be dictated by the location of the participants as described above. Redirecting the enqueued call via <Dial> to a PSTN number would similarly use global low-latency infrastructure.

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