Last updated: 16.11.11

O2 looks to e-learning 'to further market potential'

Online learning programs may be adopted by one major phone retailer as a new way to engage with its customers.

Mobile phone giant and network operator O2 has announced it is preparing to move into the fast-growing market of e-learning in a bid to get ahead of its competitors and to tap into an area of the market that is relatively new, Marketing Week reports.

In this new project, the company could increase its scope for sales and begin selling tablet computers, remote teaching tools and digital pens.

Embarking into the distance learning arena is the next step for the British company, which already sells an array of smartphones and internet dongles.

Gav Thompson, head of brand innovation at O2, said: "E-learning is a growth industry. In the position we are in the marketplace, at the right point in time of course we will be going into that industry, but there is not a direct link between O2 Learn and selling e-learning products."

He added that encouraging e-learning activity within its target audience could have a range of benefits.

Publishers Pearson and Britannica have also ramped-up coverage of e-learning in recent months.

One expert recently encouraged the use of smartphones and applications relevant to the virtual classroom, which could make online learning more fun for users and give the student more flexibility in when and where to access the guides and information.

David Patterson, director and consultant with, said that mobile learning is not an entirely new phenomenon but that it has become more popular through the invention of 3G networks, which allow faster uploads and better viewing options. The new technology offers an opportunity to make on-the-go learning a reality.

Virtual classrooms will become more and more popular among users who want to access materials on the go. Utilising technologies to extend the reach of users is the best way to get the most successful results and higher levels of usage, he added.