EU: Standards for Micro-USB based smartphone charger made available

Following a mandate from the European Commission, the European Standardisation Bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI have now made available the harmonised standards needed for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger.

This is the most recent development in the process towards a global common mobile phone charger initiated by the European Commission.

It follows the June 2009 agreement of fourteen leading mobile phone producers to harmonise chargers for data-enabled mobile phones (i.e. that can be connected to a computer) sold in the European Union.

Incompatibility of chargers for mobile phones is not only a major inconvenience for users, but also a considerable environmental problem.

In response to citizens’ demand for a common charger, the Commission invited manufacturers to agree on a technical solution making compatible the chargers of different brands.

As a result, world leading mobile phone producers committed themselves to ensure compatibility of data-enabled mobile phones, expected to be predominant in the market within two years, on the basis of the Micro-USB connector.

The agreement was established in June 2009 and signed by Apple, Emblaze Mobile, Huawei Technologies, LGE, Motorola Mobility, NEC, Nokia, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, TCT Mobile (ALCATEL), Texas Instruments and Atmel (IP/09/1049).

The Commission then issued a mandate to the European Standardisation Organisations CEN-CENELEC and ETSI in December 2009, requesting the development of European standards for the common charger.

The two organisations have now delivered. The standards allow for interoperability, i.e. the common charger is compatible with data-enabled mobile telephones of different brands.

They also take account of safety risks and electro-magnetic emissions and ensure that common chargers have sufficient immunity to external interference.

The European Commission expects the first common chargers and mobile phones compatible with the new standards to reach the European market in the first months of 2011.

Source: European Commission.

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