Mobile Industry Considers Universal Charger


Leading mobile operators and manufacturers recently announced the initiative to implement a cross-industry standard for universal mobile phone chargers. The initiative, led by the GSM Association (GSMA), would ensure the mobile industry adopts the energy-efficient universal charging solution (UCS) by 2012, eliminating up to 51,000 ton of duplicate chargers and resulting in an estimated 50 percent reduction in stand-by energy consumption.

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Discarded cell phone chargers contribute greatly to electronic waste amounts. Photo:

This would mean that, regardless of what brand of phone you purchase, the chargers would be interchangeable, a conceivably welcome relief to consumers who find their old chargers obsolete all too often.

“The mobile industry has a pivotal role in tackling environmental issues and the program is an important step that could lead to huge savings in resources, not to mention the convenience for consumers,” said Rob Conway, CEO and member of the board of GSMA.

An estimated 1.2 billion cell phones were sold last year, equating to between 51,000 and 82,000 ton of chargers. The GSMA hopes the initiative will decrease greenhouse gases (GHGs) resulting from the manufacture and transport of chargers by 13.6 to 21.8 million tons each year.

Among the companies that have joined the GSMA’s UCS initiative are AT&T, LG, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile and Vodaphone. “The universal charging solution presents a unique opportunity for our industry to bring positive benefits to the environment and also to the end-user experience,” said WS Lee, vice president of R&D planning for Samsung Electronics.

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