Ovzon 3
Ovzon 3 was built by Maxar using a Legion-class bus. At 1,500 kilograms, Ovzon’s first custom-built satellite is small compared to traditional geostationary communications satellites. Credit: Maxar/Ovzon/Proventus AB

TAMPA, Fla. — International regulators have given Ovzon another six months to provide services from its debut satellite following a series of manufacturing and launch delays for the project, the Swedish satcoms provider announced Oct. 31.

The company risked losing priority spectrum rights for Ovzon 3 after a change in launch providers from Arianespace to SpaceX helped put it on course to miss an earlier Dec. 31 ‘Bring into Use’ deadline, already extended a year following manufacturing delays at Maxar Technologies.

Although the SpaceX Falcon 9 mission is slated for as soon as December, it would take Ovzon 3 several months to reach its geostationary orbital slot at 59.7 degrees East using onboard electric propulsion.

Ovzon said its latest deadline extension from the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the spectrum enforcement arm of the United Nations, is “well in line” with its latest launch window. 

Ovzon 3 was originally slated to launch on a SpaceX Falcon Heavy in 2021, before shifting to a better deal with Arianespace, and then to a Falcon 9 following Maxar’s manufacturing delays. 

Announcing earnings results Oct. 20, the Swedish company said Ovzon 3 was on track to be shipped to SpaceX’s launch site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, by late November following testing and assembly progress.

Ovzon currently provides broadband services by leasing capacity from other satellite operators. 

The company had expected 2023 revenues to come in similar to the 357 million Swedish krona ($32 million) recorded for 2022, but is now looking at 250 million Swedish krona for the year amid delays in finalizing new orders.

Jason Rainbow writes about satellite telecom, space finance and commercial markets for SpaceNews. He has spent more than a decade covering the global space industry as a business journalist. Previously, he was Group Editor-in-Chief for Finance Information...