ITU universal charger made greener, leaner

The universal charging solution being pushed by the ITU (International Telecommunications Union), the world governing body for ICT, has been expanded to include its use to a wider variety of devices and making it even more energy efficient.

With the universal charger, the ITU said tt will no longer be necessary to provide a new charger with every new ICT device.

A detachable cable with standardized end connectors will allow connection to devices including all mobile phones and other hand-held devices (including MP3/MP4 players, tablet computers, cameras, wireless headphones, GPS devices etc).

This also means that it can be used for data transfer, avoiding an unnecessary duplicate cable and thus further reducing costs and e-waste.

ITU members also agreed to specify a no-load power consumption of the power adapter below 0.03W which is the most efficient available today.

Considering that billions of these chargers will be made available in the market in the next few years, the new standard will enable a significant global energy reduction.

Chargers built according to the new standard will be safer, use eco-friendly materials, and the user guide will remind people to unplug their chargers when not in use, to further reduce the environmental impact of charging.

In addition, the recommended charging current has been increased – in the range 750 to 1500 mA – so as to reduce charging time. Furthermore, the standard now meets the requirements of the Basel Convention on e-waste.

ITU secretary-general Hamadoun Touré said, “Other standards claim to be universal and energy efficient, but only ITU’s solution is truly universal and a real step forward in addressing environmental and climate change issues.

“This updated standard will bring the benefits of the universal charger to a wider range of devices and consumers. I am sure it will be welcomed by all ITU’s membership – 192 governments and over 700 private sector entities. The environmental impact of wide adoption will be enormous.”

Companies including Telecom Italia, France Telecom-Orange, China Academy of Telecommunication Research (CATR), Research In Motion, Swisscom, Belgacom, AT&T, Telefónica, TDC, Huawei, Telia Sonera and A1 Telekom Austria have already committed to the standard.

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