Mobile World Congress: Industry Plugs Universal Chargers

Mobile industry association GSMA and 17 leading mobile operators and manufacturers Tuesday announced at Mobile World Congress that they are behind a cross-industry standard for a universal charger based on micro-USB for new mobile phones by Jan. 1, 2012.

The initial group includes 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

Apple Inc., maker of the iPhone, however, is noticeably absent from the initiative. Apple had used a dock connector on every iPod and iPhone since 2003.

The group also agreed that the majority of chargers shipped will meet the high efficiency targets set out by the OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform), the industry body that developed the technical requirements behind UCS.

UCS chargers will include a 4-star or higher efficiency rating, which is up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated charger. Furthermore, with potentially 50 percent less chargers being manufactured each year, the industry can expect to reduce greenhouse gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13.6 million to 21.8 million tons a year, the companies claimed in a press statement.

While the environment is top of mind, group members are mindful that a universal charger will be welcomed by consumers, who can use the same charger for all phones present and future.

The initiative will also work with the wider operator and manufacturing communities to secure global participation and commitment as well as educate the industry and promote the benefits of a universal charger via a targeted marketing campaign.

The GSMA represents the interests of the worldwide mobile communications industry. GSMA includes more than 750 mobile operators as well as 200 suppliers.

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