World's largest open university goes mobile

Press release
Oct 29, 2009 13:30 (GMT +00:00)
  •         Learning on the mobile for approximately 2.5 million students
  •         E-learning reaches rural India
  •         Students from 34 countries benefit through partnerships

  • The classroom of the future is moving to mobile phones, and reaching farther into India thanks to a new partnership between Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) and IGNOU (The Indira Gandhi National Open University). Ericsson will build a 3G environment for students to download IGNOU course contents. They can also get SMS alerts on their mobile devices.

    Professor V N Rajasekharan Pillai, Vice Chancellor of IGNOU, says: "Our University is founded on the idea that education should be offered to less advantaged sections of society. With Ericsson's help, we will create a learning platform that uses mobile devices to build educational excellence and exchange information. Our students will benefit from the flexibility of learning at their own pace, any time, anywhere."

    Gowton Achaibar, President of Ericsson India, says: "This partnership is yet another proof point of telecommunication being key for development of society. Education using mobile broadband technology will provide an efficient and economical way to get content to students in distance learning programs."

    The government in India has recently begun promoting higher education in the country, where only 15 percent of students currently reach high school.  Similarly, India is suffering a shortage of teachers with higher degrees and 50 percent of college professors teach without a master's degree or a PhD. 

    IGNOU was set up to pioneer open and distance learning.  It offers various academic programs leading to Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees. The university has more than two million students enrolled, in India as well as in 34 other countries.

    Gowton Achaibar adds, "We have a clear opportunity to use India's rapidly rising teledensity to bring the advantages of broadband to the world of education."

    Notes to editors:

    Photos of signing ceremony and Gowton Achaibar will be available here:

    Ericsson's multimedia content is available at the broadcast room:

    Ericsson is the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 1 billion subscribers and has a leading position in managed services. The company's portfolio comprises of mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.

    Ericsson is advancing its vision of "to be the prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 75,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 209 billion (USD 32.2 billion) in 2008. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.


    Ericsson Corporate Public & Media Relations
    Phone: +46 10 719 69 92

    About IGNOU
    IGNOU has been established by an Act of Parliament on 1985. In relatively short period it grew into a giga university by 2004 and by 2006 it grew into the world's largest among universities of all types. Its students strength is about 2.5 million worldover. IGNOU has 62 Regional centres, countryside, nationwide. The Regional centres through 2,340 study centres. The university is present in 34 countries with 53 partner institutions abroad.
    Mandated to take education to the doorsteps of people, IGNOU today disseminates education to over eight (8) million homes through the Edusat-mediate beams of DTH services. Increasingly IGNOU is putting into applications the latest Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to reach out to the unreached in the remote areas of rural India.