NEW YORK - Verizon-branded home networking equipment will soon be available at the same stores where consumers shop for their plasma TVs, MP3 players and personal computers.
The Verizon-branded broadband equipment -- including fully branded and packaged wireless routers, desktop and notebook cards, and USB adapters -- will be sold at many of the nationwide retail outlets that already sell Verizon Online DSL service. The products will be available in stores starting in the spring. A list of specific stores will be announced shortly.
"Verizon is leading the way in providing our customers with broadband services that help them stay connected, informed and entertained. But services are only half the story," said Catherine Stanley, Verizon director of brand management. "With the help of our current and future licensing partners, Verizon will 'complete the solution' for its customers. And by bundling broadband services and products together, Verizon will make it easy for consumers to get what they need in one store visit."
Stanley said the Verizon networking equipment will be competitively priced, and in-store merchandising will include unique kiosks, signage and displays. In addition, marketing programs will include rebates, coupons and other special offers.
Introduction of the home networking gear is the first step in a licensing strategy Verizon has introduced to expand the Verizon brand into new markets and reach new sets of consumers. "Putting Verizon-branded products on the shelves in front of consumers provides awareness of Verizon as a full-service provider of broadband and simplifies the decision-making and buying process," Stanley said. "And retailers know that with Verizon products, they are adding a quality brand name their shoppers can rely on."
Verizon selected Belkin for the networking gear after a thorough vendor and product evaluation process. Under a license agreement signed last month, Belkin, a leading manufacturer of computer and networking products, will produce, ship and provide technical and customer support for the broadband networking equipment. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Said Mark Reynoso, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Belkin, "Verizon's solid service model in concert with our innovation and expertise in hardware make this a very exciting partnership. We're confident that together we can improve today's broadband experience and work together to pioneer exceptional new solutions that will further enhance consumer lifestyles."
The agreement between Verizon and Belkin was facilitated by Brandgenuity LLC, a New York-based licensing agency. According to Andrew Topkins, managing director at Brandgenuity, "Verizon is certainly one of the most trusted brands in communications and one of the most respected companies in the world. Long term, we envision a full line of high-quality, high-performance consumer electronics that will deliver richer experiences to Verizon customers."
To download an image of the Verizon packaging for the home networking equipment, go to www.verizon.com/newsfeed.
About Belkin Corporation
Belkin Corporation, the global leader in connectivity solutions, offers a range of innovations for the computer, electronics, and mobile consumer. With a diverse and far-reaching product mix consisting of home and enterprise networking, VoIP hardware, audio video solutions, KVM (keyboard/video/mouse) and peripheral sharing, power protection and cabling, as well as USB and FireWire® devices, Belkin extends its reach also to BluetoothTM, cellular, PDA, iPod®, and other solutions for mobile computing. Belkin products are available through www.belkin.com as well as through a network of major distributors, resellers, and superstores
About Verizon Communications
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other communication innovations to wireline and wireless customers. Verizon operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving 49.3 million customers nationwide, and one of the nation's premier wireline networks, serving home, business and wholesale customers in 28 states. Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of nearly 215,000 and generates annual revenues of more than $71 billion from four business segments: Domestic Telecom, Domestic Wireless, Information Services and International. For more information, visit www.verizon.com.