By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
GN Netcom has inked a licensing agreement to produce a line of Verizon-branded telephone headsets for use with the carrier's broadband services and next-generation applications, including online gaming and IP telephony.
GN Netcom will produce, ship and provide technical and customer support for the broadband headsets.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to both companies, the pact provides a complementary distribution opportunity in the marketplace, while allowing GN Netcom the opportunity to further penetrate and expand into new headset segments such as online gaming, VoIP and Web calling.
“We will enhance our customers' broadband experiences by offering them innovative headsets that are hands-free, convenient and have superb sound quality,” said Andrea Fant-Hobbs, Verizon's brand management and media services VP. “Our relationship with GN Netcom directly supports our commitment to provide our customers richer, deeper, broader communications experiences.”
David Wood, senior VP/GM for GN Netcom's North American operations, said, “As the use of broadband applications continues to rise, so does the need for high-quality headsets. Together with Verizon, we are responding to this increased demand as more consumers realize the benefits of headsets, including increased freedom and functionality across broadband applications.”
The headset designs are still being worked out, but Wood indicated the technologies and form factors are being driven by Verizon's planned services. “Our aim is to provide the product solution that complements the services,” Wood told TWICE, “Gaming, communications, music … we will optimize the designs to how consumers will use the products.”
Wood expects to have a line ready by International CES in January. He also expects to announce soon a partnership agreement with a gaming company, but the details were still being ironed out at press time.
The agreement between Verizon and GN Netcom was facilitated by Brandgenuity, a New York-based licensing agency.
GN Netcom sells headsets to the consumer market under the Jabra brand and is a major supplier of headsets to commercial call centers and to mobile phone manufacturers under OEM contracts.
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