Table of Contents
Professional headsets include contact center and office headsets (both corded and cordless) used in conjunction with enterprise communications endpoints integrated with the rest of the enterprise communications infrastructure (premises-based time division multiplexing (TDM) and internet protocol (IP) platforms and/or hosted/cloud-based TDM/IP Centrex services). Mobile headsets that are used with cellular devices or smartphones and do not offer connectivity to other enterprise endpoints are not included in the scope of this study. Additionally, this analysis does not take into account headsets purchased by employees and used at their workplace. While headset shipment estimates are based solely on headset units, revenue includes headsets plus related infrastructure such as amplifiers, direct connect cables, charging base stations, headset accessories, and software included in the headset package.
Corded headsets are the most common type of contact center and office headsets. They connect to business phones through modular amplifiers or Direct Connect cables. Usually, the Direct Connect cable plugs into either a handset port (RJ9), a dedicated modular headset port or a x mm headset jack located on the side of the endpoint. Universal serial bus (USB) corded headsets (PC USB corded headsets), on the other hand, plug into personal computers (PCs) and some types of IP desktop phones for IP communications. The study does not include general consumer-grade x mm computer headsets.
Cordless headsets are usually connected to a business phone or to a PC via a base station that connects through either a handset port, a modular headset port, or a USB port in the PC or desktop phone (PC USB cordless headset). Using either Bluetooth wireless technology or DECT radio technology, the headset can transmit up to a 300-foot range (between base station and headset).
Unified Communications (UC)-enabled headsets, a subset of PC USB headsets, are meant to expand the communications eco-system and enable users of PC-based telephony, such as remote workgroups, to efficiently collaborate in real time. In addition, they can act as advanced endpoints that are used across devices, platforms, and applications.
Enterprise headset vendors have varying definitions of UC-enabled headsets. The picture gets even more complicated when some enterprise headset vendors place all their PC USB headsets under the UC headset category in their financial reports. This is mainly due to: a) the loose definition of a UC-enabled headset and b) the little or no visibility whether the headsets are in fact being used in advanced communications (i.e., UC) environments.
Frost & Sullivan’s definition of UC-enabled headsets has been refined with time and is based on the following criteria: a) must interact with a PC via a USB port (therefore, excluding x mm computer headsets) b) must integrate with major UC communications clients/platforms, c) must offer added features and capabilities such as remote call control, location/context awareness, and IM integration, and d) must be identified as being used in a UC environment through the vendor’s direct or indirect sales force.
State of the Market
•Europe is the second largest region in terms of professional headset sales with x percent of headset revenue in 2013
•The European professional headset market earned revenues of $ x million in 2013, a growth of x percent over 2012.
•While 2012 was a very difficult year for the region due to bad economic conditions, year 2013 saw healthy recovery in professional headset sales in most of Europe.
•Growth of professional headsets was especially good in Germany, the UK and the Nordics.
•France experienced lower growth due to lingering economic difficulties.
•Eastern Europe saw good growth rates coming from places such as Russia, Poland and Turkey.
•Southern Europe is still suffering from economic uncertainty and is expected to recover more slowly than other regions.
•Similar to the North American market, UC technologies were the main catalyst of professional headset growth in Europe.
•In general, the European macro-economic conditions are expected to continue to improve, with gradual growth in European GDP and workforce, driving professional headset growth.
•Frost & Sullivan expects the European professional headset market to grow at a compound annual growth rate of x percent in terms of professional headset units and x percent in terms of professional headset revenue within the 2013-2020 timeframe.
•Frost & Sullivan expects this analysis to provide headset vendors with valuable data and insight that will help them capitalize on growth opportunities in the European professional headset market.
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