SS/L wins Geo-satellite order from Sweden

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A Swedish company, Ovzon, which in October booked a satellite launch contract from SpaceX, has now confirmed it has ordered a geostationary satellite from Space Systems/Loral.  But there are conditions.

Ovzon says that the craft will provide broadband services, but first it has to raise the cash to fund the purchase. Ovzon says it has plans in place to raise the funds partly through a rights offer and partly through additional loans. It mounted an IPO back in May.

The total investment for the satellite (Ovzon-3) including manufacturing, launch, financing and insurance is estimated to approximately SEK 1.5 billion ($165m).  “We are very pleased to be able to announce the signed satellite manufacturing contract with SSL. In addition to the significantly increased performance and coverage areas, the satellite will also enable new functionality such as single hop communication between very small terminals and will be a powerful future-proof tool to meet challenging communications requirements. We now continue to strive to further revolutionise mobile broadband via satellite by offering the highest bandwidth through the smallest terminals”, comments Per Wahlberg, CEO of Ovzon.

The L-band satellite should be ready by the end of 2021, and should be orbited to 59.7 degrees East. Ovzon paid Eutelsat around $1.6 million earlier in 2018 in order to secure an orbital slot, although its CEO says the company has six orbital positions at its disposal.  Ovzon currently leases capacity from Eutelsat, SES and Intelsat.

Ovzon is the Parent Company of a Group with the objective of providing broadband satellite service through its own and leased satellite capacity to customers in various parts of the world.  Its vision is to revolutionise mobile broadband via satellite by offering global coverage of the highest bandwidth through the smallest terminals. Ovzon’s long term vision is to have several own satellites to enable a global deployment of service and to become a leading satellite communications service provider.

Its founder is Per Wahlberg, who co-founded Swe-Dish back in 1994 (and which was subsequently sold to Rockwell Collins). Ovzon’s parent company is OverHorizon (Cyprus) plc.

Ovzon’s HQ is in Solna, Sweden, but it has offices in Tampa, Florida, and Bethesda, Maryland. The company is listed on NASDAQ. Ovzon says it offers a “revolutionary mobile broadband service via satellite combining high bandwidth with highly mobile terminals – offering speeds up to 80 times faster than competing services. Applications include real-time sensor and video upload, either from moving or highly mobile platforms, including small vehicles, small aircraft or UAVs, or directly from users on-site transmitting on-the-go.”


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