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



GSMA Advanced Air Mobility Experts at MWC22


Tuesday 24 May 2022 | Advanced Air Mobility | Resources |

At MWC Barcelona 2022, GSMA partners discuss how their company works with Advanced Air Mobility

GSMA 5G Transformation Hub Case Study: How 5G drones will help deliver digital twins


Tuesday 10 May 2022 | Advanced Air Mobility | GSMA Foundry |

Skydio is preparing to use 5G to enable its autonomous inspection drones to coordinate their activities and quickly and reliably relay images and scans of critical infrastructure, and construction and accident sites to decision makers.

ACJA Leveraging 3GPP Cellular Network Mechanisms to Support UAS Operations


Tuesday 15 Mar 2022 | Advanced Air Mobility |

This document focuses on analyzing how cellular networks and related services can be leveraged to support UAS operations , including how they support ASTM 3411-19 Standard Specification for Remote ID and Tracking and future versions.

View all resources

News and Blogs

Japan to Allow Drone Flights in Urban Areas

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In December 2022, Japan revised their civil aeronautics law to allow drone flights beyond pilots’ line of sight in urban districts. The revision will pave the way for a fully-fledged utilisation of drones by industries across the country and prompt many to prepare and ...

Europe is Leading the World in the Growth of BVLOS Drone Services Via Cellular

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This article highlights the three most important developments for the European drone market; European Commission (EU) Drone Strategy 2.0; Electronic Communication Committee Decision; U-space Regulatory Package introducing Remote ID. The EU Drone Strategy 2:0: recognises the ...

Drones & Mobile Networks Drive the Paradigm Shift the Transportation Industry Needs

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Modern society’s unrelenting demand for efficiency is a catalyst for innovators to create technology that transforms how we live — and how we move. Smart mobility, an intelligent transport and mobility network, is one such innovation. By connecting different elements of ...

Dimetor (AirborneRF) and Sunrise are collaborating with the Swiss FOCA to utilize dynamic data for a digital SORA

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Dimetor, the creator of AirborneRF, in collaboration with Sunrise GmbH was selected to work in partnership with the Swiss FOCA on a project to operationalize a dynamic assessment of air & ground risk for drone operations to support and digitize SORA authorization in ...

The mobile industry must continue its mission to unite the UAV ecosystem

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The UAV market lies at a critical juncture. On the one hand we, as mobile network operators, are seeing huge demand for deployment of commercial, cellular-enabled drones, across almost every industry you can think of. On the other hand – and unlike most other areas of the ...

The GSMA Foundry: a unique environment where new opportunities are created across the mobile industry

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The GSMA Foundry is all about solving the most pressing challenges of the day in connected technology – a forum where organisations of all sizes can come together to pioneer new approaches and make lasting contributions to the industry. At MWC Barcelona 2022 I was ...

The GSMA Foundry and 5G Autonomous Drones: efficient inventory management and surveillance inspections

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The GSMA Foundry is an exciting new forum for pioneers, thought leaders and problem solvers in the mobile industry – using the GSMA’s global reach and convening power to unify the ecosystem and shape the future of connectivity, through the sharing of expertise and the ...

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 ...

GSMA IoT WebTalk Q&A: The Power of Partnership – Clear Skies Ahead for Mobile-Enabled Aviation

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The following questions were extracted from the GSMA IoT WebTalk: The Power of Partnership – Clear Skies Ahead for Mobile-Enabled Aviation, broadcast live on 24 March 2021. Contributors To get in contact, please email drones@gsma.com

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 ...

First cross-border drone flight conducted entirely over the mobile network between Latvia and Estonia

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Commercial drones can help many industries by reducing costs, improving safety, efficiency and delivering a variety of new services not previously possible. The total number of drones will reach to 86.5 million by 2025[1] and total drones value chain revenue will grow to ...

Q&A: Utilising Mobile Connectivity for Drones Remote Identification

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From the IoT WebTalk: Utilising Mobile Connectivity for Drones Remote Identification, aviation and mobile industry experts from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Skyward, A Verizon company and Vodafone addressed the ...

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, ...

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 ...