Cell phone makers agree on Micro-USB charging standard

Posted on Tuesday, Feb 17 2009 @ 21:19 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Good news, world's biggest cell phone makers have agreed to implement a cross-industry standard for a universal charger solution (UCS) for new cell phones. By 2012 the majority of all new phone models will support a common universal charging interface based on Micro-USB.

The initial group of companies who have joined the GSMA's UCS 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.
The GSMA and 17 leading mobile operators and manufacturers today announced that they are committed to implementing a cross-industry standard for a universal charger for new mobile phones. The aim of the initiative, led by the GSMA, is to ensure that the mobile industry adopts a common format for mobile phone charger connections and energy-efficient chargers resulting in an estimated 50 per cent reduction in standby energy consumption, the potential elimination of up to 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers1 and the enhancement of the customer experience by simplifying the charging of mobile phones.

The group has set an ambitious target that by 2012 a universal charging solution (UCS) will be widely available in the market worldwide and will use Micro-USB as the common universal charging interface. The group agreed that by the 1st January 2012, the majority of all new mobile phone models available will support a universal charging connector and the majority of chargers shipped will meet the high efficiency targets set out by the OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform), the industry body who developed the technical requirements behind UCS.

"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 make life much simpler for the consumer, who will be able to use the same charger for future handsets, as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger. UCS chargers will also include a 4-star2 or higher efficiency rating, which is up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated charger3. Furthermore, with potentially 50 per cent less chargers4 being manufactured each year, the industry can expect to reduce greenhouse gases in manufacturing and transporting replacement chargers by 13.6 to 21.8 million tonnes a year. To ensure the uptake of a universal charging solution, the operators and manufacturers who have partnered with the GSMA to launch this initiative are working alongside the OMTP to roll-out the new solution in order to meet the targets set for 2012. 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.


About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.



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