The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) market is one of the fastest growing and innovative sectors of the IoT and presents a huge commercial and strategic opportunity for operators and their technology partners.

The GSMA is actively working with the telecoms and aviation industries to maximise the use of beyond-visual-line-of-sight capabilities for UAS, develop new use cases and help create an open and trusted regulatory environment.

Connected Drone Communities

There are two drone-related initiatives, making progress in this area – the Drone Interest Group (DIG) and Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA). To find out more, visit the respective pages below or get in touch drones@gsma.com

GSMA Drone Interest Group (DIG)

GSMA Drone Interest Group (DIG)

The GSMA Drone Interest Group (DIG) consists of mobile operators and GSMA associate members from around the world, working with UAS and UTM suppliers and other ecosystem players to encourage the use of cellular communications for drones.

The Drone Interest Group is open to all GSMA members. Please contact us to see how you can take part: drones@gsma.com.

DIG Web Page

Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA)

Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA)

The GSMA and GUTMA (Global Unmanned Traffic Management Association) have set up the Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA) initiative to build communication and cooperation between the aviation and mobile industries. The main aim of the ACJA is to promote the exchange between the aviation and cellular communities, and to synchronise contributions between the existing Standard Development Organisations (SDOs) of each community, in order to avoid incompatibilities between them.  

Please contact us to see how you can take part: drones@gsma.com.

ACJA Web Page

Latest Events


On Demand: APAC Connected Drone Workshop – Integration of Mobile, Aviation and Drone Industries


Tuesday 31 Aug 2021 | Advanced Air Mobility | Asia-Pacific | Internet of Things – general | Resources |

This virtual event brought together mobile, drone and aviation experts, including mobile network operators, regulators, drone manufacturers and specialist service providers from across the UAV ecosystem.

The Role of Mobile Network Operators in an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Ecosystem


Friday 30 Jul 2021 | Advanced Air Mobility | Internet of Things – general | Resources | Smart Cities | Smart Cities Transport |

Whitepaper exploring how a structured process of public engagement between local authorities, communities, regulators, MNOs and the UAM industry can help citizens make informed decisions about the future of UAM infrastructure in their communities.

On Demand: Industrial Applications for Mobile-Enabled Drones


Friday 9 Jul 2021 | Advanced Air Mobility | Internet of Things – general | Resources |

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) market is one of the fastest growing and innovative sectors of IoT and presents a huge future commercial and strategic opportunity for operators and their technology partners.

Exploring Future Opportunities for Mobile Networks and the Drone Industry: Benefits and Use Cases


Thursday 1 Apr 2021 | Advanced Air Mobility | Internet of Things – general | Resources |

UAVs (drones) are an exciting market segment for advanced communications services based on 4G and 5G. This document is the result of consultation with mobile operators working on activities to develop and commercialise products for the drone market.

View all resources

News and Blogs

LATAM UAV market an opportunity to improve quality of life, industry experts say

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Across Latin America, the commercial drones market is an increasingly important contributor to economic development and is estimated to be worth over $1 billion in annual revenues by 2025, growing fourfold over 2021 projections. But this opportunity is also social and ...

Mobile and aviation industries take collaborative steps as commercial drones market set for massive growth

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Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or drones are among the most recognisable technologies to have emerged in recent years, and one of the fastest-growing areas of the Internet of Things (IoT). As Head of APAC at the GSMA, Julian Gorman, notes, it’s not hard to see why this burgeoning ...

Safety first: a glimpse into the future of cellular drones from MWC21 Barcelona

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This year’s MWC Barcelona was an unusual one for obvious reasons, but it was heartening to see delegates turn out in force nonetheless for our series on realising the promise of cellular drones. Much of the sector’s initial growth will be driven by unmanned flights, so ...

Regulators must recognise the role of mobile connectivity for commercial drones to flourish

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The global commercial drone market has huge potential for growth, estimated to be worth $43 billion by 2024. Key to this valuation are numerous applications that will depend heavily on mobile connectivity. Sectors such as logistics, security and infrastructure inspection are ...

The ecosystem must adapt to meet the promise of cellular drones: reflections from the Chair of the GSMA Drone Interest Group

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The mobile industry has connected billions of devices on the ground and is more than capable of connecting large numbers of devices in the sky as well. Cellular networks are optimally placed to enable drone-based solutions from traffic control to law enforcement, and ...

CES 2021 Highlights: Top three drone stories from this year’s virtual conference

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Few were expecting CES to be its usual bustling affair this year, for obvious reasons. But 2021’s entirely virtual conference did nonetheless manage to provide us with some intriguing glimpses of the future in connected drones. The cause for this year’s move online has in ...

GSMA IoT WebTalk Q&A: Reaching New Heights – The Future Role of Mobile Networks in Aviation and Drones

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The following questions were extracted from the IoT WebTalk: Reaching New Heights – The Future Role of Mobile Networks in Aviation and Drones, broadcast live on 15 December 2020. Contributors: To get in contact, please email drones@gsma.com

Fully automated drone delivery flights over a prioritised network are getting closer

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KPN recently conducted a new pilot on a drone delivery flight in which it investigated the possibilities of flying BVLOS in the Dutch harbour city of Rotterdam. Drones are extremely useful for the Port of Rotterdam, where this pilot took place. They can improve current ...

How the emergence of connected drones is helping the fight against COVID-19

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The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to adapt at speed, and ask some deeply unwelcome questions – among the most difficult of which has been how we can care for one another, and keep the world turning, while avoiding personal contact as much as possible.  In some ways, ...

GSMA and GUTMA launch new joint initiative to align mobile and aviation industries

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Cellular connectivity is key to unlocking the full potential of unmanned aerial vehicles (or ‘drones’): allowing them to operate at greater distances from the pilot, beyond the pilot’s line of sight, enabling critical functions such as search-and-rescue or traffic safety ...

Connected Skies: developing the natural partnership between mobile and aviation industries

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The mobile ecosystem is building a valuable partnership with the aviation industry – with a particular focus on connected drones – thanks to the ubiquity, security and reliability of cellular networks. The connected sky is a major new opportunity for mobile network ...

GUTMA and the GSMA Announce Collaboration to Help Define the Future of Aerial Connectivity

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We’ve already featured the many ways in which the Global UTM Association (GUTMA) is working to unlock the full value of connectivity in drones  by the telecommunications industry. Those efforts are ongoing and ultimately about creating connectivity with and between ...