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Industry to Settle on a Generic Phone Charger for All Mobile Phones

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The GSMA and 17 mobile operators and manufacturers have 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 and the potential elimination of up to 51,000 tonnes of duplicate chargers.

Last November, a clutch of phone manufacturers also agreed to publish the energy rating of their chargers on their websites.

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 UCS chargers will also include a 4-star or higher efficiency rating, which is up to three times more energy-efficient than an unrated charger.

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.

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, Telefonica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

In 2007, Finland based Salcomp which manufactures phone chargers announced that it had taken 10 years for the firm to produce 1 billion phone chargers. With this initiative, it may take somewhat longer to produce the next billion.

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