English language lessons have been given a boost in China, after Nokia and Pearson announced the formation of a wireless educational venture. Beijing Mobiledu Technologies will provide an English-language learning service that is delivered over mobile phones.
The partnership is designed to accelerate the growth of Nokia’s existing Mobiledu service. Launched in China in 2007, Mobiledu provides English-language learning materials and other educational content, from a variety of content providers, directly to mobile phones.
Customers can access the content through an application preloaded on new Nokia handsets, or by visiting the service’s mobile website and most other WAP portals in China.
Since its launch, the premium service has attracted 20 million subscribers in China, with 1.5 million people actively using the service each month.
“The new joint venture company will combine the world-class expertise of Nokia in mobile devices and services, and Pearson’s industry-leading assets and expertise in education, to deliver a wide range of services to meet the high demand for education in China,” an official statement said.
Headed by Angela Long, formerly head of Mobiledu at Nokia, Beijing Mobiledu Technologies will be based in Beijing and will begin operations immediately.
“China is the world’s largest mobile phone market and the country with the largest number of people learning English,” said John Fallon, chief executive of Pearson’s International Education business.
“This is a great opportunity to combine Pearson’s English language learning and wider educational services with the mobile technology capabilities of Nokia to meet this demand and help a larger number of people achieve their aspirations.”