Monday, February 23, 2009

The great power poker.

The announcement of the mobile industry, by 2012 Micro-USB as the standard for the power of mobile phones introduce, is to be regarded with skepticism. In the past the industry has mainly played on time, in order to protect lucrative business.


A few days ago, the mobile industry, announced that they were to produce a
Single Charger for all mobile phones have agreed. From 2012 to mobile phones via the mini-USB connector as power supply, said the GSM Association (GSMA), in which almost all large companies in the mobile industry are represented.

For the consumer first by the sounds of a joyful message: The format of chaos in the chargers is annoying and costly - in case of loss must be so special charger for the phone to his own questionable prices to buy.

In addition, the manufacturer of the adapter unit, but also save costs. And as the environment will also benefit because much less e-waste could occur, even if cell phones are sold without power supply.

According euphoric were the comments of industry representatives. So said Robert Chvatal, T-Mobile boss in Austria to a "win-win-win situation." Problem solved, everyone involved will benefit and so is the issue closed? Unfortunately no, because if the mobile phone industry in the power supply issue in the normal way works, you have the GSMA announcement, unfortunately, very different interpretations. The pessimistic view is then more loudly praised the industry better, the less it has to really effective measures.

The precedent

What at first sounds absurd, it is the example of the roaming charges clearly explained. The tariffs for mobile calls of the EU were already in the 90 years a thorn in the eye. But the promised improvement in mobile and could the EU Commission in 1998 for such a scheme without coercion win. Three years later suggested Competition Commissioner Mario Monti, then alarm: When roaming to find virtually no competition. Now will the EU Commission on.

Indeed it took the telecom industry was still six more years, which infuriated EU politicians to appease - and this time with roaming charges fantastic profit margins to realize. Only 2007 were actually fee caps for mobile phone calls within the European Union. The strategy consisted of Telkos in this case primarily to goodwill and providing it to win time.

New Game

The parallels between roaming and chargers standard are obvious. In both cases, it is an extremely lucrative and safe business. International calls were also before the charges by limiting the EU, whether on holiday or on business trips. And on the purchase of a new power supply, no one does, just because the prices are disproportionately high. In both cases there is an increase of products made by consumers in certain extent be regarded as indispensable.

And there are other parallels. So-called EU Industry Commissioner Guenter Verheugen, just days before the GSMA announcement, a standard for power supplies. Just like Mario Monti Verheugen 2001 threatened the industry with sanctions if they do not even care for a standard. Against this background it is the promise of resolving the problem by 2012 as a conciliatory measure well understood, with the intervention of the policy should be delayed.



Magazine for electronic life aspects

This is also that since 2007 the plan is, mini-USB the standard for the mobile power to make. At the time, announced the industry forum OMTP (Open Mobile Terminal Platform), whose main members are also in the GSMA found that mobile phone cabling to simplify radically. And just this one and a half years since the existing plan was now run by the GSMA once proclaimed as a major breakthrough.

In addition, the GSMA schedule is anything but authentic and industry is also still a loophole open holds: By 2012, only to be "the majority of all new mobile phones" via Micro-USB socket to come. What remains is to hope that the EU mobile phone manufacturers obliged her rather vague promise also observed. That authoritarian politics in the case of mobile phone chargers to be successful, China has already demonstrated. There were manufacturers in 2006 to the default committed since June 2007, only units with Micro-USB connector as a unit to be sold.

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