26 Oct 2009

Universal phone charger welcomed

7:23 pm on 26 October 2009

The Telecom Users Association says the United Nation's decision to approve a universal mobile phone charger will save New Zealanders a lot of time and money.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency, has announced its support for a charger that is compatible with cellphones of all make and models.

At present, most chargers are product or brand specific and industry body GSMA estimates 51,000 tonnes of redundant chargers are generated each year.

Telecom Users Association chief executive Ernie Newman says the new technology can't arrive soon enough for New Zealand consumers.

Manufacturers who've been making a tremendous amount of money by changing chargers every time people have changed their handsets will lose that source of revenue, he says, and "jolly good thing too."

International Telecommunication Union spokesperson Malcolm Johnson says the universal model is a common-sense solution that he looks forward to seeing in other areas.

Mr Johnson says it is also a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of charging phones.

The GSMA estimates that the energy-efficient chargers will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 13.6 million tonnes.

The charger has a micro-USB port at the connecting end, using similar technology to digital cameras.

Nokia and Sony Ericsson have already agreed to produce phones compatible with the chargers.