Hammer Wireless awarded African broadband licence
Hammer Fiber Optics Holdings has formed its first African subsidiary, Hammer Wireless, to deliver its proprietary wireless broadband services to the African continent.
Hammer Wireless, which was recently awarded a nationwide 28GHz licence by the telecommunications regulator NATCOM, will deploy Sierra Leone’s “first true high-speed fixed wireless network”. The first phase of the project will be co-financed by Hammer and Telecom Financial Services in Switzerland in exchange for equity in the subsidiary.
“The government of Sierra Leone’s ICT mandate is to significantly improve education and economic development through broadband penetration, which was measured at 3% nationwide by the ITU in 2018,” said Michael Cothill, executive chairman of Hammer, who has extensive experience in broadband deployment across the continent of Africa.
Construction of the new network will begin in March 2019 and will initially target Freetown, the nation’s most populous city, which has in excess of one million possible subscribers. As part of its ‘Everything Wireless’ strategy, Hammer will expand the network in several phases, providing access to fixed wireless internet, video and voice applications on one integrated high-speed network.
“The deployment in Sierra Leone marks our entry into our second, and largest, major geographical market,” said Kristen Vasicek, Hammer’s COO. “Our flexible model, which can include direct operator agreements as well as partnerships through our MNSP programme, can be replicated throughout Africa, the Eastern Caribbean, in the United States and other parts of the world.”
Erik Levitt, Hammer’s CEO, who also has experience deploying networks in Africa, added: “The breadth and scope of our team, which includes a combination of local expertise and global reach, is displayed prominently with this announcement. We want to improve the everyday lives of people worldwide. The global citizen deserves high speed access to the world’s greatest information resource.”
The news follows Hammer Fiber Optics’ announcement in December that it had completed its acquisition of wholesale voice services provider Endstream Communications after receiving approval from regulators.