Hammer Fiber Optics launching new PoP amid global SMS network expansion

04 June 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Hammer Fiber Optics has today announced that it is nearing the completion of its Sierra Leone fixed wireless network and expansion of its global SMS messaging network.

The first point of presence in Freetown, Sierra Leone, is nearing completion, with all of the in-building deployment and construction having been completed. Once final delivery of the intercompany telecommunications infrastructure has been accepted, the network will be live.

“We will begin accepting orders from business customers shortly,” said Michael Cothill, Hammer’s chairman. “Our high speed access network will deliver unparalleled quality.”

The network will have in-country diversity and is constructed to the best available modern standard for the region. Hammer plans to offer local access to other global operators on a wholesale basis. Carrier customers will have the option of accepting delivery of services in Freetown or at certain European points of presence (PoP), either as point-to-point facilities or in-country direct internet access.

At the start of the year, Hammer Fiber Optics Holdings formed its first African subsidiary, Hammer Wireless, to deliver its proprietary wireless broadband services to the African continent.

Hammer Wireless, which was awarded a nationwide 28GHz licence by the telecommunications regulator NATCOM, said at the time that it would deploy Sierra Leone’s “first true high-speed fixed wireless network”. The first phase of the project is being co-financed by Hammer and Telecom Financial Services in Switzerland in exchange for equity in the subsidiary. Construction of the new network began in March 2019.

Global SMS messaging network

While construction is progressing on networks in West Africa and with its partners in the Eastern Caribbean, Hammer’s subsidiary, 1stPoint Communications, has continued building out its robust SMS messaging platform.

Hammer Fiber Optics completed the acquisition of 1stPoint Communications and its subsidiaries Endstream Communications and Open Data Centers on 17 December 2018.

Building on its US messaging network and nationwide CMRS licence, 1stPoint is adding several international direct routes to tier one operators worldwide. As these interconnections are completed, messaging services are being offered to Hammer’s existing retail customers as well as on a wholesale basis.

These services, which are part of the foundation of the “Everything Wireless” strategy, will continue to grow in advance of the deployment of fixed wireless and mobile data networks. “Our unique approach to each market allows us to establish profitability in a market on an accelerated basis,” said Erik Levitt, Hammer’s CEO.

“The integration of the four pillars of Everything Wireless is critical to our success,” said Kristen Vasicek, Hammer’s COO. “High speed fixed wireless, using Hammer’s patented Air™ Technology, mobility, OTT and smart city can be provided as one single platform to end users and operator partners through our mobile network services provider programme.”

The MNSP programme allows MSOs, wireless carriers, wireless ISPs or traditional telecommunications operators to commission wireless networks without the capital expense or investment in personnel with the expertise necessary to operate a sophisticated wireless infrastructure. “Both partnerships and direct operator licences will be part of Hammer’s strategy on an ongoing basis,” added Levitt. “We look forward to working with more partners in the coming months.”