Bharti Airtel has launched mEducation, a platform that enables Airtel mobile customers in India to access educational services including courses for language skills, entrance exam preparation and career counseling from universities and professors on their mobile phone.
Airtel will offer these educational value added services (VAS) through Interactive Voice Response (IVR), SMS and WAP. These services range from Rs 1.5/day to Rs 99 for a course, depending on the type of course a user wants to subscribe to. It offers English Guru (IVR) for Rs 30/ 30 Days, Mock Tests (WAP) at Rs 99 (12 mock Test) /Rs 49 (5 Mock Test), Scholarship Alert (SMS) at Rs 1.5 per day, among others. Users can find more information at the Airtel website.
As of 2011, the number of students in India under the age of 14 was reported to be 134 million. Adding students in graduate schools, the number only increases. There’s a tremendous opportunity for VAS players to cash on the education sector. However, it depends on service providers as to how they market the educational services. The market is still a bit premature and nobody seems to have figured out what works and what doesn’t. Airtel seems to have approached the market by converging the services it offers on platforms such as SMS, WAP, and IVR.
Previously, Airtel had partnered with Hungama Mobile to launch ‘CAT Fastrack’ pack – a 30 day crash course for CAT aspirants for subscribers on their network accessible at m.crackcat.in. The course is designed by Arun Sharma, a well known author who has written a book for CAT aspirants ‘How to prepare for Quantitative Aptitude’. In August 2012, Airtel had partnered with Aakash Educational Services Limited to provide its Airtel digital TV users with coaching services through its interactive service, iExam.
Other services: Recently, HCL Learning, the education and talent development division of HCL Infosystems, has launched MyEduWorld, an interactive learning app that includes school curriculum in digital format. In August 2012, e-learning company iProf Learning Solutions, which offers a personal education tablet device and runs a chain of Wi-Fi-enabled e-learning centers across India, launched an online service, TheDigiLibrary.com. The service offers content for entrance exam coaching for IIT JEE, AIPMT, CAT, Civil Services courseware, CBSE 11th Medical and non medical sections, CBSE 12th Medical and Non Medical, ICSE 10th Science and Maths, and English Speaking.
Research in Motion (BlackBerry) in association with mobile service provider Vodafone had launched an application, Study Buddy, for B-School aspirants with test prep institution IMS. The Study Buddy app offers mock tests for MBA entrance exams like CAT and CMAT.
Vriti, an e-learning company, had partnered with Tata McGraw-Hill Education to launch free, online ‘Smart Courses’ for Engineering and Management on Android tablet devices. Minglebox also provides Android apps for CAT/MAT/XAT and AIEEE entrance exams.