TUESDAY June 21, 2022
By Adam Ihucha
Tranquility News Correspondent, Tanzania
Habari Node Plc, an internet service provided based in Arusha, Tanzania, has rolled out massive investment plans for expanding its footprint across the country in its bid to leapfrog economic sectors to grow by leaps and bounds.
The company behind the cutting-edge internet penetration deep into the Tanzania’s northern tourism circuit’s bushes says it will invest Sh1.5 billion (about $649,000) in the deployment of fiber-optic infrastructure over the next three years to offer its customers low-cost, but seamless internet service.
“Our plans from 2022 to 2024 is to expand our physical presence to reach out to the Southern Highlands tourism circuit comprising Iringa, Mafinga and Mbeya as well as the mineral-rich Lake Zone region of Geita,” the Habari Node Plc CEO and Board Chairman, Mr Erik Rowberg, says during the official launch of the firm’s new headquarters in Arusha.
He adds: “Relocating the headquarters from the Arusha International Conference Center to the more spacious and convenient premises at House Number 15 along Nyerere Road, Mahakama Street, opposite Kibo Palace Hotel, is part of our growth plan.”
“Fiber optic is the most powerful and effective medium to support broadband competition, rural coverage, and wireless densification,” Mr Rowberg explains.
The company, credited for its low-cost, but steadfast internet provision, currently 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.
In northern Tanzania, for instance, Habari Node provides internet services not only to entrepreneurs within and on the fringes of central business districts, but also to Arusha, Tarangire, Manyara and Serengeti national parks, Karatu and to Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
No wonder Arusha tops the number of internet-connected businesses in the country, as the new report shows the penetration rate of the safari capital has been phenomenal; thanks to the savvy business community.
The Building Bridges, a survey project implemented through Trias Tanzania, indicates that over 78 per cent of business entities in Arusha are connected to the internet, as opposed to 59 per cent in other regions, including the country’s commercial city of Dar es Salaam.
Officiating at the office launch, the Arusha Regional Commissioner, Mr John Mongela commends Habari Node not only for fostering internet and IT services in his territory, but also for creating decent employment for techno-savvy young generation.
“I’m so grateful to Habari Node as its business model is inclusive. It offers reliable internet and IT services to our business and diplomatic communities here in Arusha and beyond. But more interestingly, the company pays back to the community through its unique corporate social responsibility,” Mr Mongela says.
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) CEO, Mr Sirili Akko praises the company for being in the forefront to better serve the tourism industry, which by its very nature cannot thrive without the internet.
Analysts say the way business is conducted in this digital age has changed due to so many people being logged on 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 also is used for delivering customer support, sharing information, providing employees with training, and catapulting other economic activities such as tourism, among others.
The Habari Node General Manager, Ms Kabaza Runyeta, says her company offers internet, IP Bandwidth – on Fiber, Microwave links, IP VPN, and MPLS Circuits.
The firm also registers .tz and international domains; hosts web and cloud Services such as backup and restore, storage and virtualisation; and deals in software development; commercial off-the-shelf software for payroll, human resources management, and in custom software built and customised to the client’s needs.
It also deals in systems integration, structured cabling installation, server setup (open source), networks setup and configuration (WAN and LAN – Wireless and Fiber Optics), hardware, collocation (tower space and data centre services), supply of network equipment, value-added services users and support IT Services and IT Consultancy.
Habari Node pays back to the community through its human-face corporate social responsibility, making it unique among its peers.
“We’ve offered internship and field positions to 1,450 local students pursuing IT studies since the company was established. These students have been professionally nurtured and we are proud that they have been good ambassadors elsewhere,” Ms Runyeta says.
The company also spends TSh40 million (about $17,300) per year on offering free or subsidised internet to schools based in Arusha and to Selian Hospices facility through a non-governmental organisation dubbed Arusha Node Marie.Ω
MORE INFORMATION: Habari Node Plc
Habari Node Public Limited (Habari Node) is an internet service provider with its head office in Arusha, Tanzania, providing standard internet services and a range of other ICT-based business solutions. The company was jointly founded in 2010 by Afam (T) Limited and Arusha Node Marie to take over the internet service activities of Arusha Node Marie, a society that has been operational since 1994. Habari Node transitioned from a limited liability company to a Public Limited Company in April 2017. It is incorporated in Tanzania with certificate number 75466 and licensed by Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority as an internet service provider. It is also accredited by the Tanzania Network Information Centre (tzNIC) to offer .tz domain registry services. Habari Node is a member of Tanzania Internet Services Provider (TISPA) and currently hosts the Arusha Internet Exchange Point (AIXP) on behalf of other Arusha internet service providersΩ