TAMPA, Fla. — Mobile satcom services provider Ovzon said March 28 it has secured a deadline extension enabling it to keep priority spectrum rights for its first broadband satellite, as long as it launches early enough in a July-September window SpaceX has set for the mission.
International regulators gave the Swedish company until the end of the year to start providing services in geostationary orbit from Ovzon 3, which was originally slated to launch in 2021 before manufacturing delays at Maxar Technologies.
Once launched, it would take Ovzon 3 several months to reach its orbital slot at 59.7 degrees East using onboard electric propulsion.
“A launch occurring late in the announced [launch] window may require additional approvals,” Ovzon said in a news release.
The previous ‘Bring into Use’ deadline for Ovzon 3 under rules governed by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), an affiliate of the United Nations, was Dec. 15, 2022.
Ovzon had originally lined up a 2021 SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch for Ovzon 3 before switching to an Ariane 5 after getting a better deal from Arianespace.
However, the company said Feb. 3 that it moved Ovzon 3 back to SpaceX, this time for a Falcon 9 launch, after additional manufacturing delays caused it to miss out on one of Arianespace’s last few Ariane 5 missions.
According to Ovzon, which currently provides broadband services by leasing capacity from other satellite operators, Maxar’s supply chain woes have increased the overall cost of its inaugural satellite project by about $25 million.
To help cover these rising costs, the company recently sold shares worth about $19 million and increased a $60 million line of credit to $65 million.
Ovzon also recently disclosed its 2022 financials are taking a hit of about 34 million Swedish krona ($3.3 million) after one of its customers fell behind on contracted payments.
Per Norén, Ovzon’s CEO, said in a statement that Italian distributor Gomedia Satcom ran into “more severe financial difficulties than previously assessed,” prompting Ovzon to delay the publication of its annual financial results by about a week to March 30.
Despite including the loss in the upcoming accounts, Norén said Ovzon has agreed a repayment plan and secured a “pledge of assets” held by the Italian company.