Advanced Television

ITU denies Ovzon extension request

November 21, 2022

The ITU’s powerful Radio Regulations Board (RRB) has refused Sweden’s Ovzon AB request to extend the timetable for the satellite operator’s ‘bringing into use’ (BIU) obligations for its Ovzon-3 satellite.

Ovzon-3 was licensed by Cyprus and, like many other satellite operators, has suffered delays in manufacturing caused by the pandemic, and had asked the ITU’s RRB for an 11-month extension to its BIU timetable. The current ITU permission expires on December 15th and Ovzon has argued ‘force majeure’ in its application for an extension.

Ovzon is already offering a satellite constellation targeting mobile users (drones, helicopters, sea vessels and mobile users on land) and capable of delivering up to 70 Mb/s upstream and 120 Mb/s download regardless of the moving platform. Its main customers are government/military and emergency services as well as broadcasters and humanitarian/disaster relief problems.

It has now emerged that at an ITU meeting earlier in November in Geneva resulted in a denial of the extension request for Ovzon-3 with the ITU saying that Ovzon had not supplied evidence of scheduling problems.

Maxar Technologies is building the satellite. The Cyprus regulator said that Maxar had suffered problems in building the satellite, as well as Covid and wildfires in California near the Maxar factory.

The RRB stated: “Potential delays in delivery of components by subcontractors should be taken into account in project planning and could not be used as justification of ‘force majeure’.”

However, the RRB has asked for extra information and proofs so there is hope that the initial refusal could be reversed. The ITU will meet again in March. Meanwhile, the Cyprus regulator for Ovzon has reportedly said that the satellite can be ready for launch by the end of March 2023 and a launch within 6 months.

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