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Nat’l Commission on Muslim Filipinos taps Talk ‘N Text for Hajj 2012

The National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) has partnered with wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), through its leading mass market brand Talk ‘N Text, to provide connectivity to Filipino Muslims traveling this year to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the Hajj.

The Hajj is the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca that must be carried out by every Muslim as a religious duty at least once in their lifetime, according to the teachings of Islam. This year, the NCMF, with the help of Talk ‘N Text, facilitated the pilgrimage to Mecca of over 6,000 Muslim Filipinos – the largest group of pilgrims from the Philippines by far.

Under the partnership, Talk ‘N Text provided prepaid SIMs with roaming capabilities to all Filipino Hajj pilgrims, enabling them to stay connected to their loved-ones back home as they perform their religious duties in Saudi Arabia.  Talk ‘N Text also provided other travel essentials to the pilgrims, such as vests and hats, to make the trip more comfortable and safe.

“We are excited to be part of the NCMF’s initiative to improve the Hajj experience of our Muslim brothers, by giving them access to affordable and reliable connectivity,” said Melvin Nubla, marketing manager for activations and new business at Talk ‘N Text.

“We believe that this is a great response to the call of the national government to establish more private-public partnerships, one that will hopefully redound to more important goals for all Muslim Filipinos, such as development and peace and order,” said Mirkarl Allian, NCMF Commissioner representing the Sama tribe.

“We are very glad to partner with industry leaders Smart and Talk ‘N Text for the Hajj this year, and we look forward to a more meaningful engagement beneficial to the Muslim community in the Philippines, particularly in Mindanao,” said Mehol Sadain, secretary and CEO of the NCMF.

Smart provides mobile services to 56% of the predominantly prepaid Mindanao market, as of end-June 2012. Talk ‘N Text has over five million subscribers in Mindanao, or a commanding 33% market share, according to MillwardBrown’s Q2 Brand Monitor research.

“Serving subscribers in Mindanao and enabling them to benefit from all the services enjoyed by the rest of the country have always been a priority for us in Smart,” said Noel C. Lorenzana, Executive Vice-President and head of Smart’s Wireless Consumer Division.

“We have designed our services, Talk ‘N Text, in particular, to be relevant to the needs of our subscribers in Mindanao, and calibrated our network so that connectivity is present where it matters most, particularly to the most remote barangays and municipalities of Mindanao,” added Lorenzana.

Talk ‘N Text now serves over 24 million subscribers nationwide, and is the fastest growing prepaid brand in the industry. The brand is also set to expand its footprint as Smart’s network continues to expand and cover over 99% of the country’s population.

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