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Universal charger set for 2012 debut

Posted: 24 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:universal charger? cellphone charger? mobile industry?

The mobile communications industry is finally addressing one the most frustrating aspects of using cellphonethe huge and environmentally wasteful diversity of chargers from different handset makers, and even different charger models from the same supplier.

At the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the top five handset makers and many leading operators pledged support for an initiative to develop a "universal" charger, with the GSM Association (GSMA) set to drive the effort that should see the majority of new phones by 2012 use the "one-size-fits-all" energy efficient charger.

The device will use the Micro-USB as the common universal charging interface, and the GSMA says the majority of chargers shipped will meet the high efficiency targets set out by the Open Mobile Terminal Platform, the industry body who developed the technical requirements behind the "Universal Charging Solution" initiative.

This calls for a 50 percent reduction in standby power consumption, and the chargers should also be three times more energy efficient than most on the market today.

The GSMA also suggests the initiative could potentially lead to 50 percent fewer chargers being manufactured each year, so that the industry can expect to reduce #LINKKEYWORD1# gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13.6 to 21.8 million tons a year.

Companies that have signed up the initiative include Nokia, Sony-Ericsson, Samsung, LG and Motorola, and from the operators' side, 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, mobilkom austria, Orange, Telecom Italia, Telef�nica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Chip supplier Qualcomm is also involved from the start, and others are expected to join the effort this year.

The GSMA terms the target of 2012 for a universal charger "ambitious" but the Association's CEO Rob Conway said the mobile phone sector can play a pivotal role in tackling environmental issues, and that this initiative will "lead the way."

Mitti Storckovius, director of environment, devices at Nokia said: "By supporting this industry initiative on common charging solutions, and enabling consumers to choose if they need a charger with every new device or can re-use existing ones, we can contribute further in improving the industry's environmental footprint."

Brigitte Bourgoin, executive VP, head of personal line of business at operator Orange said: "This initiative will also open the door to innovation in the operator retail presence as it is envisioned that chargers and mobile devices may be distributed separately in the near future, which will allow consumers to reuse existing chargers."

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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