MWC - Universal charger coming for mobile phones

Life could get simpler for mobile phone users if an industry initiative works.

The GSMA and 17 leading mobile operators and manufacturers used MWC to announce that they want to create a universal charger standard for new mobile phones.

The energy-efficient chargers would draw about half the standby power of current changers, and stop the waste incurred when users get a new charger with every new phone, The GSMA reckons this could add up to 51,000 tons of duplicate chargers.

The group wants the universal chargers to be available by 2012, using Micro-USB as the universal interface. It says that by 1 January 2012, most new mobile phones should support a universal charging connector and most chargers should meet the efficiency targets set out by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform, the industry body who developed the technical requirements behind the universal charger.

“The mobile industry has a pivotal role to play in tackling environmental issues and this programme is an important step that could lead to huge savings in resources, not to mention convenience for consumers,” said Rob Conway, CEO and member of the board of the GSMA. “There is enormous potential in mobile to help people live and work in an eco-friendly way and with the backing of some or the biggest names in the industry, this initiative will lead the way.”

A universal charger will also simplify life for consumers, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets and use any charger for their mobiles.

The operators and manufacturers who have partnered with the GSMA to launch this initiative are working with the OMTP to meet the 2012 targets. The initiative will also work with other operators and manufacturers to widen participation.

The initial partners in the universal charger initiative include 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

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