EU sets standards for common phone charger

Wednesday 29 December 2010 | 14:17 CET | News

The European standardisation bodies CEN-CENELEC and ETSI have made available the harmonised standards needed for the manufacture of data-enabled mobile phones compatible with a new common charger. The move comes after the European Commission issued a mandate to the two organisations in December 2009, requesting the development of European standards for the common charger. 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 EC expects the first common chargers and mobile phones compatible with the new standards to reach the European market in the first months of 2011.


This is the most recent development in the process towards a global common mobile phone charger initiated by the EC. It follows the June 2009 agreement of fourteen 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. Users who want to change their mobile phones must usually acquire a new charger and dispose of the old one, even if it is in good condition. In response to citizens' demand for a common charger, the EC invited manufacturers to agree on a technical solution making compatible the chargers of different brands. As a result, 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.

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