From keeping us connected to helping us navigate traffic during our commute, mobile networks play an essential role in today’s dynamic, internet-enabled world. In the last 30 years, the mobile network community has proven that collaborative innovation can have tremendous economic benefits, drive social change, and deliver long-term value.

Drones have the same potential.

Today, drones are predominantly utilized as an extension of a remote pilot-in-command (RPIC) on the ground, often within visual line-of-sight (VLOS).

But many of the most high-value commercial applications for drones take place beyond visual line-of-sight (BVLOS) with an increasing level of automation, requiring distributed software intelligence between the drone and cloud applications and fully secured and reliable real time communications systems to operate these missions at scale. A number of these drone applications utilizing 4G connectivity have already been commercially deployed in specific environments.

Moreover, high-scale BVLOS and autonomous drone operations require real-time consistent, efficient, and reliable connectivity with UAS Traffic Management, or UTM, systems in order to maintain safe integration, separation and conformance of all drones and other aircraft operations in low-altitude airspace.

UAS Traffic Management, or UTM, is a digital air traffic management system made up of technologies and services designed to maintain safe integration and separation of drones and other aircraft and objects in low-altitude airspace. UTM system users need accurate, real-time, and contextual geospatial information in order to plan and assess mission-risk, optimize flight routes, provide strategic and tactical risk mitigation measures, and more.

This is where Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) come in. MNOs play a critical role in supporting UTM infrastructure to ensure the global scaling of a safe and secure drone economy.

AirMap CEO David Hose will attend the GSMA Drone Interest Group session to present AirMap’s vision for how Mobile Networks can support advance enterprise BVLOS operations, autonomous drone missions, smart cities, and urban aerial mobility development.

“Mobile network operators already provide critical infrastructure and trusted communication services to countless industries around the world and now they are ready to extend this to support the needs of the fast growing drone market,” said Graham Trickey, Head of Internet of Things, GSMA. “Operators will play a critical role in ensuring autonomous drone operations have real-time and reliable connectivity with digital air traffic management systems that will support the safe integration of all drone traffic with other aircraft and help the drone economy to grow.”

AirMap is the leading global UTM platform for drones. David Hose is a seasoned international business leader with over 35 years of experience in mobile technology. Prior to AirMap, Hose was the founder and CEO of Signalsoft, a pioneer in the development of location-based services for mobile phones.