Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The International Communication Organisation claims it “changed the world” The European Commission is pushing smartphone makers to adopt the USB-C port for charging their devices. It is concerned that “massive differences” in charging standards could cause consumer confusion and harm competition. It says up to 80% of device chargers worldwide should be USB-C compatible from
2020. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) said the latest version of the standard meant cables “mesh” the two charged states with an easy-to-use connector. Delivering a joint keynote with the commission, the ITU’s head of development, Terry Kramer, said USB-C was a “truly transformational” standard. “It changed the world,” he said. The technology allows devices to be charged through a single cable,
whether it is a charger for laptops, phones or tablets. European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip says the move is vital if the European market is to become a global leader in mobile technology. “We need to ensure that common standards that benefit consumers are created in the area of mobile technologies, as current differences in mobile charging platforms can lead to higher costs, less innovation and consumer
confusion,” he said. The EU has established a task force to make the transition. Broadband killing smartphones The EU also wants to push the adoption of 100% interoperable standards on home broadband and phone lines. European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip said: “ITU’s recent major e-standardisation of e-Home and e-Voice standards allows seamless migration of standards between the European market and the
global market.” EU states are also set to decide next year whether to impose legal requirements on connected home appliances, such as routers. If approved, these appliances will have to come with an external hub that manages Internet of Things technology and the networks that connect them, in order to avoid consumers being targeted by hackers. “The connected home and the Internet of Things in general can bring
benefits to consumers, but it is crucial that our industry – and particularly our internet services providers – invest in innovation and not in new security threats that can break security,” said European Commission vice-president Andrus Ansip. Other issues include how to address the issue of privacy as well as law enforcement requests and the need to promote cross-border data flows.