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UK's Drone Revolution BT Group Unleashes the Drone SIM

In the heart of the UK, the drone industry is like a fledgling aircraft, poised for an epic takeoff
By Josefina Dipaolo
October 17, 2023

In the vibrant landscape of the UK, the drone industry is poised for remarkable growth. Bolstered by the nation's strong economy and its global influence, the sky's the limit for the drone market. Seizing this opportunity, BT Group, a leading telecommunications service provider in the UK, has introduced the country's first-ever Drone SIM.

This groundbreaking SIM card is set to revolutionize beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone operations across the UK. Leveraging EE's robust network, this Drone SIM is designed to function seamlessly at high altitudes. What sets it apart is its resistance to extreme temperatures and humidity, making it adaptable to drone applications in all seasons.

The real game-changer is the high-priority, ultra-responsive connectivity it offers, along with enhanced video streaming quality. With the Drone SIM, drones can capture and transmit detailed imagery and video, opening doors to a multitude of applications. This innovative SIM marks a significant departure from relying on local Wi-Fi or radio transmissions, allowing drones to maintain connectivity even over considerable distances.

BT Group's journey to the Drone SIM began earlier this year when its incubation team, Etc., in BT Group's Digital unit, entered into a £5 million agreement with Altitude Angel. Their aim was to lay the foundation for the UK's first drone superhighway. After a series of successful trials, including infrastructure inspections and BVLOS mission safety standards testing, the Drone SIM is now ready for deployment.

The Drone SIM will be available to BT's enterprise clients, opening up possibilities for delivering medical supplies, conducting search and rescue operations, and streamlining infrastructure inspections. It has already powered a groundbreaking drone medical delivery trial with aerial logistics specialist Skyfarer.

Dave Pankhurst, Director of Drones at BT, said, "This announcement is a huge stepping stone in bringing drone connectivity to businesses across the UK, unlocking potential for more efficient processes, business transformation, and, with the ability to power search and rescue missions and medical deliveries, helping to save lives."

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