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Ovzon’s First Broadband Satellite Reaches Geostationary Position After 5 Month Journey

Swedish broadband operator Ovzon has successfully deployed its first fully owned satellite, Ovzon 3, into a geostationary position.

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Zac Aubert

Zac Aubert

Sat Jun 15 2024Written by Zac Aubert

Swedish broadband operator Ovzon has successfully deployed its first fully owned satellite, Ovzon 3, into a geostationary position. Ovzon 3 has passed its initial health checks after the five-month journey in space and is expected to enter service "within a few short weeks" once the remaining in-orbit tests conducted by manufacturer Maxar Technologies are completed.

The satellite was launched by SpaceX on a Falcon 9 rocket on January 3, 2024, marking the end of a prolonged period of launch and manufacturing delays for a satellite originally scheduled for a 2021 launch.

Regulatory challenges added to the complexity of the project. Ovzon had to secure two extensions to retain priority spectrum rights for its 59.7 degrees East orbital slot, with a current deadline of July 4.

The increasing demand for the 1,500-kilogram satellite, particularly among defense, national security, and public safety sectors in Europe, underscores the importance of the satellite for Ovzon's strategic expansion.

Currently, Ovzon leases capacity from partner satellite operators, including Intelsat, and provides comprehensive services using its own mobile satellite terminals. The U.S. Department of Defense has been Ovzon's largest customer, but the company is now eyeing significant opportunities in Europe with its proprietary satellite.

Ovzon, which is listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, reported to investors that it received $11.1 million in orders during the first quarter of 2024, including a substantial 12-month order from a European customer worth $9.7 million. The company's revenue for the quarter amounted to 65 million Swedish Krona ($6.2 million), up from 57 million Swedish Krona in the same period of 2023. However, Ovzon also posted a 25 million Swedish Krona operating loss for the first quarter of 2024, compared to a 23 million Swedish Krona loss in the previous year.

"With Ovzon 3 online we will be managing a hybrid network with a mix of our own satellite and leased capacity which creates flexibility in terms of geographical coverage, performance and cost effectiveness." - Ovzon's CEO

This hybrid approach enables Ovzon to better meet customer demands and optimize service and capacity utilization.

Looking ahead, Ovzon is considering a follow-on strategy to cater to the rising need for secure satellite communications, especially in countries aiming to enhance their defense capabilities.

"Countries with little to no satellite infrastructure are now shaping plans to create sovereign systems that allow for more autonomy in an increasingly space-based geopolitical environment," - Ovzon's CEO

As Ovzon 3 nears full operational status, the company is poised to solidify its position in the satellite communications market, leveraging its own satellite alongside leased capacities to deliver robust and flexible services to a growing customer base.