NewsTech

Habari Node links rural dwellers with the world

The internet provider targets tourism players, online entrepreneurs, education and health service providers, farmers and public institutions operating in remote areas

TUESDAY November 28, 2023

Headquarters of  Habari Node Ltd situated at House Number 15, Mahakama Street, along Nyerere Road, in Tanzania’s safari capital of Arusha. PHOTO | FILE

By Adam Ihucha

The Tranquility News Correspondent, Tanzania

Business community and home internet users in Manyara Region, now have a reason to smile, courtesy of the completion of an Internet network expansion project that brings ultra-high-speed broadband services to their doorsteps.

The Arusha headquartered Internet provider, Habari Node Ltd, has invested heavily in infrastructure deployment in Babati Urban and Magugu remote areas in its latest efforts to roll out ultra-high-speed broadband services to the internet-hungry communities.

Habari Node Ltd, the company behind the cutting-edge internet penetration into the deep northern tourism circuit, in mid 2022 announced its plan to invest $607,287 in fiber-optic and wireless infrastructure deployment over the next three years in various regions, in its painstaking efforts to offer its customers low-cost, but seamless internet service.

“We are excited to announce the completion of the network expansion project that brings seamless ultra-high-speed broadband services to homes and businesses in Babati Urban and Magugu remote area of Manyara Region,” the Habari Node General Manager, Ms Kabaza Runyeta, told a press conference.

She implored the business communities such as tourism players, online entrepreneurs, education and health providers, modern farmers as well as government’s institutions to embrace internet services at their doorways to leapfrog economic sectors to grow by leaps and bounds.

Magugu township on the outskirts of Babati Town in Manyara Region, Tanzania, is now connected to internet. The township is well known for the production of paddy. PHOTO | @Kainm2014

Ms Runyeta said their strategic decision to expand its footprint to Manyara was informed by their long-term plan of increasing their penetration of communities that are currently located significant distances from the major cities.

As a matter of fact, one explanation for the low penetration of broadband into rural areas in Tanzania is that service providers have not had a great deal of incentive in the past to pursue opportunities in remote regions.

This is because operators have to spend more to reach out to subscribers in remote and sparsely populated regions compare with urban areas whose density of subscribers per mile is lower and accepted service fees per subscriber are lower than urban customers in terms of average revenue per user.

“I can assure you, we are seeing a paradigm shift. Rural areas are increasingly hungry for robust broadband for several reasons, including taking advantage of innovations in online business, digital farming, education, and tourism business that require a high-speed broadband internet” Ms Runyeta explained.

The Habari Node company, credited for its low-cost, but steadfast internet provision, has a strong presence in key commercial regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Mwanza, Dar es Salaam, and Dodoma, where the influence of the internet in business is well-established and acknowledged.

The Habari Node Ltd General Manager, Ms Kabaza Runyeta, addresses the audience at a past ceremony. PHOTO | FILE

In northern Tanzania, for instance, Habari Node provides internet services not only to entrepreneurs within and outside the central business districts but also to national parks such as Arusha, Tarangire, Manyara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro conservation areas.

Analysts say the way business is conducted in this digital age has changed due to so many people logging in to the internet.

Advancement in communication and information technology has further strengthened the role of the internet in business.

The Internet is widely used in organisations for marketing and promoting products and services.

The internet is used to deliver customer support, share information, provide training to employees, and leapfrog other economic activities such as tourism, among others.

Africa though is home to 14 per cent of the world’s population, comprises barely 2 per cent of the world’s web users. According to an analysis by Amos Nungu, internet penetration on the continent stands at less than 10 per cent, thanks to the cost of access and internet bandwidth remaining high for many Africans. PHOTO | FOCUS

“The firm also provides other Internet-related services including domain registration, web hosting services, systems integration, and IT consultancy as value-added services.  and software development, commercial off-the-shelf software,” Mr Kilusu explained.

The company has also successfully managed to develop two ambitious software products to offer solutions for payroll and human resource management.

“PayTan is a streamlined software for processing salary and easing compliance with statutory remittances, among other key available human resource management features.” Ms Runyeta added.

Habari Node also pays back to the community through its human-face corporate social responsibility and that is what makes the company so unique, among its peersΩ

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