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January 13, 2010

NTT buys Swiss company and plans to launch online English education services in Japan


NTT plans to launch online educational services in Japan following its acquisition of a 29.7 percent stake in goFLUENT, a provider of online English-language instruction. Established in 2000, goFLUENT has developed advanced expertise for the provision of online English instruction. It currently has about 30,000 students, mainly enterprise customers in nine countries worldwide, who receive remote English-language instruction from about 300 tutors based in the United States, Canada and the Philippines. The company estimates it had revenues of about 11 million euros (about 1.5 billion yen) in 2009.

Through the capital alliance, NTT intends to launch educational services in Japan that will combine the company's visual communication and other ICT solutions with goFLUENT's online English-training knowhow. Specific services will include the online provision of English training for enterprise personnel as well as individual customers of Internet services offered by the NTT Group.

NTT expects the services to benefit from a growing demand for English training in Japan at a time when companies are globalizing their operations and English education has become a compulsory subject beginning from elementary school. The increasing ubiquity of broadband networks and the spread of teleconference services are expected to accelerate the spread of online English education.

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