Wireless industry experts and supply chain leader announce Device Renewal Forum (DRF)

Group to establish a "gold standard" for refurbished wireless devices

Barcelona, Spain—Feb.  28, 2012—Brightstar Corp., eRecyclingCorps, ModusLink Global Solutions, The CDMA Development Group (CDG) and Sprint Nextel announced the creation of the Device Renewal Forum (DRF), formed to expand growth of the renewed wireless devices market by establishing a common certification for refurbished wireless phones. The group will work across all the wireless interface technologies including but not limited to GSM, CMDA2000, EV-DO, HSPA and LTE.

“With the lifecycle of wireless phones diminishing, companies are looking for ways to re-introduce affordable phones to market and minimize the environmental impact of old technology,” said Scott Crawley, President, Integrated Services for ModusLink, Waltham, Mass. “ModusLink developed a carrier-grade, integrated solution for processing returned handsets, data wiping to ensure privacy and proper disposal and recycling of devices beyond economic repair. We look forward to leveraging that expertise to support the goals of the DRF and helping to create a certified gold standard for product renewal that will ensure the quality and performance of refurbished goods.”

Mobile telecommunications is the largest consumer industry in the world and play a role in businesses across all industries, including warehousing and supply chain processes. And while more than 1.68 billion wireless devices are produced each year, less than one percent of these devices are recycled and even fewer are renewed, as reported by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The goals of the DRF are to address issues related to renewing wireless devices and create standard refurbishment processes.

“Collecting and renewing wireless devices are a big part of our broader sustainability commitment,” said Fared Adib, Vice President of Product, Sprint Nextel. “We consider the DRF’s certification process to be a key element to expand the use of renewed wireless devices across the globe by providing consumers unparalleled quality, while at the same time, protecting the operation of wireless networks.”

The DRF will provide a global forum to address issues related to renewing wireless devices. Its subcommittees will establish a technology-agnostic “gold standard” for testing and certifying renewed devices. This initiative will use the global best practices to extend the lifecycle of wireless phones already in market and mitigate impacts to the environment. The DRF certification process will also help to ensure that only high-quality and properly functioning devices re-enter the marketplace.

“The renewed devices market is a growing and exciting opportunity for Brightstar,” said Marcelo Claure, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Brightstar Corp. “The certification process, as proposed by DRF, will help strengthen our ability to provide value to our customers and grow this market worldwide. We are excited to begin working with the DRF to establish a world-class framework for the certification and reuse of wireless devices around the globe.”

By renewing and certifying refurbished wireless devices, the demand for affordable phones in markets can be fulfilled, while preserving the environment, conserving materials, minimizing pollution and eliminating waste. A best practices certification process for renewed devices is vitally important to ensure that these devices won’t disrupt, degrade or harm the performance of wireless networks, e.g., reducing capacity or precluding roaming.

“eRecyclingCorps’ (eRC) carrier-grade platform offers instant, in-store credit for used devices and is establishing trade-in as the new norm for wireless device purchases,” said David Edmondson, Chief Executive Officer of eRC. “Due to the significant volume of devices we are now collecting, we have a vested interest in defining the ground rules for a new category of ‘renewed’ devices. As a founding member of DRF, we are creating the standards that will give operators and consumers alike, confidence in purchasing these renewed devices.”

The Device Renewal Forum is open to companies and organizations worldwide that want to make an impact on the environment and future of the wireless industry. Industry veteran Perry LaForge, Founder of the CDMA Development Group (CDG), will serve as executive chairman of DRF. 

“I am pleased to help this worthwhile cause,” said LaForge. “It’s clear the DRF will provide a vital role in facilitating the renewal of devices around the world and make a significant impact on preserving our environment,” he concluded.

For more information, visit www.devicerenewalforum.org.