CTIA Updates Wireless Device Grading Standard to Help Extend the Lifecycle of Pre-Owned Wireless Devices

May 9, 2024

Update Aligns CTIA Grading Standard to Meet Requirements of SERI R2 Equipment Categorization

CTIA, the wireless industry association, today announced that it has aligned its wireless industry device grading standard to reflect the requirements of SERI’s R2 Equipment Categorization (REC), the world’s most widely adopted standard for responsible handling of used electronics. This change streamlines the ability of service centers to repair and extend the lifecycle of pre-owned wireless devices, reducing waste and enhancing the sustainability of the wireless device supply chain.

Originally established by CTIA’s RLSQ Working Group in 2019, the voluntary wireless industry device grading standard was the first of its kind to be developed by companies representing the full wireless ecosystem, including device suppliers, wireless operators, insurance companies, logistics, parts suppliers, and repair organizations. Companies involved in repairing, refurbishing, or redistributing wireless devices and their parts use the wireless industry device grading standard to grade the condition of a mobile device, creating more predictable device repair and trade-in experiences for consumers and retailers alike.

“The wireless industry is committed to being a responsible environmental steward, and by better aligning the REC and the CTIA wireless industry device grading standard, we are improving the quality and consistency of device grading and repair, and ensuring responsible electronics reuse and recycling practices throughout the industry,” said Michelle James, CTIA Vice President, Strategic Industry Programs. “Our grading standards have helped achieve consistency for consumers, and now, by keeping used devices in the marketplace, and for longer, we are helping companies meet their sustainability goals and reducing our environmental impact.”

The effort to align the CTIA wireless industry device grading standard to SERI’s existing REC helps streamline the grading of pre-owned devices by R2 Certified mobile refurbishers. The pre-owned device market is growing by 2.9% year-on-year with smartphones the most-popular device to purchase second-hand, comprising 81% of the total secondary market.

“We appreciate CTIA and the wireless industry’s commitment to ensuring devices are responsibly tested, repaired or recycled,” said Corey Dehmey, SERI CEO. “The cross-reference between the CTIA wireless device grading standard and the REC will help R2 Certified facilities differentiate functional wireless devices that can be freely traded from the BER devices that must be controlled for further processing by qualified buyers.”

SERI is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in the United States with a mission to help create a world where all electronics sustainably reused and recycled. Its R2 Standard is the most widely adopted standard for used electronics, and the latest version, R2v3, continues to set the standard for electronics reuse and recycling worldwide.

“The CTIA grading standard is the result of close cooperation between industry members across the value chain,” said Guennael Delorme, Vice President/General Manager, Global Trade-In, Allstate. “By bringing consistency to the used device grading process, our goal is to reduce process waste and promote a predictable and quality customer experience. I am excited to see how the partnership with SERI can further strengthen our impact on the whole circular economy.”