The GSM Association and 17 mobile operators and manufacturers have announced that they are committed to creating an industry-wide standard for a universal charger for new mobile phones.

The aim of the GSMA-led initiative is to see that the mobile industry adopts a common format for energy efficient mobile phone charger connections.

By 2012 the group wants to see a universal charging solution (or UCS) widely available in the market worldwide that will use micro-USB as the common universal charging interface.

By that deadline, the "majority" of all new mobile phone models available should be able to support a universal charging connector and the "majority" of chargers shipped should meet efficiency targets.

Claiming that a universal charger will make life "much simpler" for the consumer, it would mean consumers could use the same charger for future handsets, as well as being able to charge their mobile phone anywhere from any available charger.

The initial group of companies who have joined the GSMA's UCS initiative include 3 Group, AT&T, KTF, LG, mobilkom austria, Motorola, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, Telenor, Telstra, T-Mobile and Vodafone.