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.

There are two drone-related initiatives, making progress in this area – the Drones 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 Drones Interest Group (DIG)

GSMA Drones Interest Group (DIG)

The GSMA Drones Interest Group (DIG) has 50 members (operators and associates) from around the world that are working with UAS and UTM suppliers and other ecosystem players to encourage the use of cellular communications while helping to create an open and trusted regulatory environment.

The aim of the DIG is to investigate and assess the opportunity for mobile connectivity to be deployed in commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) (referred to here as ‘drones’) and to also investigate whether the SIM can be used to help identify a UAV.

The objectives of the DIG are to:

• ​​Understand the drones sector in more detail
This would entail engagement with other stakeholders within the drones sector at varying levels to engage in discussion.

• Awareness of regulatory challenges within the drones sector, and how to address these
Is there a process or timeline for regulatory changes? Are there already existing solutions in place? How do we engage with and lobby regulators, at varying levels (nationally, regionally and globally)

• Awareness of technical challenges and how to address these
​How do we make a network ‘drone ready?
What are the safety and security concerns held by the varying stakeholders?
​What are the industry messages that we can use on how mobile technology can help with drones?

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

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

Industry Perspectives

Find out more about the status and evolution of the UAV/drones market, the main use cases associated with drones, and key insights from mobile operators on the benefits of using mobile networks to support drones operations.

Partner Content

Explore a range of exciting drones use cases from our operator members that are transforming industries and lives.


News and Blogs

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 ...

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...