Calls for Participation: Common charger study - online survey


Please be informed that a public online consultation related to the study that the European Commission is conducting on the 'Common charger for mobile phones and other portable electronic devices' has been launched:

To take the survey an EC login is required but it should be relatively simple to get via their website.

EC Background Information

In the past, mobile telephones were only compatible with specific mobile telephone chargers. An estimated 500 million mobile phones were in use in 2009 in all EU countries.

The chargers used often varied according to the manufacturer and model, and more than 30 different types of charger were on the market. Apart from causing inconvenience to the consumer, this created unnecessary electronic waste.

Almost every household is believed to have gathered a number of old chargers – estimated to generate more than 51 000 tons of electronic waste per year in the EU.

In response, the European Commission facilitated an agreement among major handset manufacturers to adopt a common charger for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU.

In June 2009, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed in which mobile phone manufacturers agreed to harmonise chargers for new models of data-enabled handsets, coming onto the market as of 2011.

As a result, Europe's major mobile phone manufacturers agreed to adopt a universal charger for data-enabled mobile phones sold in the EU. The MoU committed the industry to provide charger compatibility on the basis of the micro-USB connector.

The MoU expired at the end of 2012 but it has effectively been extended by a number of its signatories through two subsequent ‘Letters of Intent’, signed in 2013 and 2014.

A study was concluded in August 2014 to evaluate the results achieved by the MoU and specifically:

  • to analyse how the stated objectives of delivering benefits for consumers and for the industry were met;
  • to analyse results concerning the reduction of electronic waste;
  • to provide all information relevant to consider options for appropriate follow-up.

The results of this study are now being assessed with new activity in this area expected as a result of this survey being part of this work.

Related ETSI work and background information


They are responsible for defining the equipment engineering, the bonding and grounding, the power supply interface and environmental aspects for telecommunication infrastructures and equipment.
They manage various engineering aspects of telecommunication equipment in different types of installations. These include:

  • environmental conditions (climatic, thermal, active substances, acoustic, etc.);
  • equipment practice (the physical requirements of racks, sub-racks and cabinets including thermal matters);
  • power supply and grounding (power interface specifications, power and grounding distributions);
  • eco-environmental matters (energy efficiency, environmental impact analysis, alternative energy sources);
  • environmental matters associated with mobile Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) devices.
Much of their work on energy efficiency supports European Commission (EC) policies, regulation or legislation. They are comprised of representatives from the Telecommunication network operators and equipment suppliers of Europe, China, Japan and the US.


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