Event Integrated skies Sustainability

‘Having so many different parties at one table is very important’

Thursday, 3 December 2020

It’s safe to say that drone operators can’t do their work without the help of mobile operators for using mobile connectivity in the best way. One of the main goals of the GSMA (uniting mobile operators worldwide) is to have a scalable and sustainable solution with interoperability between the different mobile networks around the globe. Barbara Pareglio, Senior Director, IoT Technology at GSMA, talks about what she hopes to achieve during ADW Hybrid.

Pareglio leads all the activities at GSMA regarding drones. “Our Drone Interest Group consists of more than 50 GSMA members and is focused on mobile connectivity deployment to support commercial UAVs. We are also collaborating with a wider drones ecosystem and organisations such as GUTMA., says Pareglio. “One of the primary goal of GSMA is to make sure that customers have the same user experience for drones’ communication while roaming in different countries. For drone operation we strive to have a minimum set of features and settings that will guarantee interoperability across the mobile networks. So if you fly across borders you know what to expect. Of course it’s still possible that your home provider gives you some extra services when in your home-country but the basics should work the same in every country.”

Building a global UAM-ecosystem is quite complex, says Pareglio. “Because every country and region is used to their own systems, their own regulations and environment. At the moment, aviation is about manned aviation. And UAM demands some different insights. For example about how you manage the airspace above cities. And of course airspace management will be more digital in the future.
“If I look at the pace at which laws and regulations are being amended now, I estimate that it will still take a while before all plans with drones can actually be implemented. And that's okay, because you have to do this carefully. Step-by-step. And that gives the entire market the time to organize things properly and safely. "v Pareglio sees that there is already a lot of international cooperation between mobile operators and aviation authorities, not least because of the encouragement of GSMA itself. “There are indeed areas where knowledge is shared. Take the EASA and the FAA, who consult and coordinate a lot. But I also see in other areas that efforts are being made to bring knowledge together and learn from each other. Although there are regional differences, you generally see the same ambitions and obstacles worldwide.”

Level Playing Field
Pareglio hopes that ADW Hybrid participants, like her own GSMA, will recognize that they are sitting at the same table in the coming week. “I also hope that others understand that mobile operators are not the solution to all obstacles. We can provide part of the solution, along with many others. Still, it is good to sit at the same table during ADW Hybrid to keep the conversation going and to better understand each other's points of view. It is important to create a level playing field where we can talk to each other. Aviation is still very traditional and changes only slowly. With these new developments, such as unmanned aviation, they try to be faster, but there is still so much to do, in various areas, that it is important that the traditional world understands the new world better and vice versa. We as GSMA are in the middle of that and for me ADW would be a great success if we could cultivate mutual understanding and keep all parties at the table. Together we must find out how we can achieve a minimal level of interoperability and at the same time an economically sustainable business model. That is very important in this phase. ”

Barbara Pareglio has over 20 years of experience in the mobile industry. She has been part of the GSMA Internet of Things ( since 2014, working on several aspects of the IoT such as GSMA Drone Interest Group and also looking at a variety of emerging technologies, like machine learning/AI and edge computing, for helping the mobile industry to create trusted solutions for the IoT.
Pareglio is a panel member at ADW on Tuesday 1 December,15.00 CET and Wednesday 2 December 2020, 13.00 CET.