Iain Sharp, ATIS


Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles

Launched in 2017, ATIS’ UAV Initiative started with a focus on low-altitude, light-weight UAVs. The group considers applications of UAVs in telecommunication-related applications and the use of mobile cellular networks to provide communications and other services for UAVs.

The group has published a number of white papers discussing the importance of UAVs for the mobile cellular industry, and the UAV-related capabilities incorporated into the 3GPP specifications. The UAV group provides a venue that members can use to coordinate their input to UAV-related standards topics and monitor the progress of work in 3GPP and other bodies.

Beyond providing communication services, the cellular network can provide other valuable contributions such as identification and corroboration of GPS location information — an area of high interest in meeting regulatory needs. ATIS is now considering how the existing specifications for UAV communications can be enriched to provide new features to improve the safety and operations of UAVs.