GUTMA and GSMA release detailed review of connectivity services needed for drone operations

A joint publication by the Global Unmanned Traffic Management Association (GUTMA) and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) describes the NetworkCoverage Service, a general architecture comprising stakeholders, services, interfaces and data models for the automated data exchange between Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and the Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) ecosystem. The document is an Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA) publication, a collaborative initiative between GUTMA and GSMA promoting interchange and understanding between the aviation and cellular communities.

In order to enable Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) operations at scale, drones need reliable connectivity.  To ensure that flight planning and operational services can include information on where such connectivity is available to support the needs of a UAV mission, additional data from connectivity providers is required.

The document describes a general architecture comprising stakeholders, services, interfaces and data models. The NetworkCoverage Service provides three-dimensional (actually four-dimensional, as it also changes over time) information about data connectivity conditions along a flight route or in an area of interest. It provides information where connectivity conditions are, or are not, good enough for safe and reliable data connectivity that adheres to a certain service level, provided by individual connectivity providers.

The NetworkCoverage Service provides a general mechanism between the various stakeholders, interfaces and data models that enable and allow the automated data exchange between the respective parties.

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