This Wireless GSM Intercom System adds New Benefits to Home Security
GSM Based Intercom Systems
GSM Based Intercoms for homes are a relatively new affordable extension to the cellular technology. It is no longer available to only the larger complexes.
It requires very little cabling, virtually no maintenance and gives one the flexibility of answering the gate without even being there! It is also relatively easy to replace outdated and faulty wired systems with one of these.
This page offers a little background into this new technology. It covers some of the general features and benefits.
Why should you consider a GSM Based Intercom System?
Your phone doubles as an intercom handset. No more dashing for the intercom when someone is at the gate. It gives the appearance that you’re always home.
Open the gate from anywhere. Go do your nails! No need to hang around waiting for the arrival of the garden services or pool guy (unless of course he’s cute).
Register trusted people on the system; this allows them to trigger the gate with a missed call. You can easily add, delete and restrict as you wish (useful to control ex’s and in-laws).
Switch things on and off without leaving the couch (memo: don’t cancel the gym contract!). Control the electric fence, lights, pumps, and garden beams from anywhere. Keep in mind that additional cabling and specialized knowledge may be required for this to work right.
Except for topping up with airtime when required, a GSM intercom system requires very little maintenance.
GSM based intercoms requires little cabling. Installing or replacing cables can be a traumatic experience. Paying someone to cut up your paving and/or to dig a trench across your perfectly manicured lawn is money you can spend better on something else!
Features Never Before Available on Wired In-house Intercom Systems.
If you’re thinking about installing a new intercom, or battling with one that lets you down every time it rains, then browse through this list of GSM features and benefits. You’ll find some of them quite exciting.
Most of these features were simply not possible with conventional wired intercom systems.
Use your cell or home phone as an intercom handset.
Answer the gate from anywhere; open the gate from anywhere.
Time Barring. The gate station can be programmed to switch off completely during certain hours. For example, you may find them in a “nuisance situation”. For example, I stay near a school where kids play with the intercom buttons – so the intercom is switched off for 30 minutes when they leave school. Or perhaps you don’t want to receive calls from the office intercom after hours – we’ll program it to switch off say from 18:00 till 06:00.
Switch things on and off from anywhere (security lights, electric fence, motors, pumps, garden beams, alarms, etc). Receive an SMS when it’s done. (Additional wiring and specialist services may be required to have this working right).
Receive SMS notification on certain conditions. For example, if the gate was triggered and remains open. (Additional wiring and specialist services may be required).
Add and delete new users. It can be done with SMS commands, cable connection to a PC or laptop, and/or the internet.
Detailed transaction logs enable you to trace the flow of activities in case an undesirable event took place. Some GSM intercom reporting systems even track remote controls.
The units will be fully operational in the event of a power failure when connected to a battery backup. If power cannot be drawn from the gate motor’s battery, we recommend using a separate power pack.
A battery helps minimizing electrical surge damage. When connected DIRECTLY to it, the risk of lightning damage is reduced. Additional surge suppressors are recommended where lightning is severe. (As more and more demands are placed on batteries, we recommend the use of only good quality batteries).
Conventional gate stations are meant to call you; not all allow you to call the gate. It is a useful feature if you have to speak to the guard at the gate, or want to listen in when you see activities near the gate.
Is it Expensive?
It can be messy and expensive to install cables for intercoms. Fault finding on wired systems can turn out to be very expensive.
Going wireless does not completely eliminates cable costs, but it hugely reduces the need for cable.
These charts illustrates the relative installed costs of a wired, wireless and GSM intercom for two-, four-, and forty-eight units.
This is only as a guide; every installation is different and on-site factors may change the bottom line for your particular application.
Let's have a look at some of the most frequently asked questions.
The GSM intercom unit houses a SIM card. Will it be safe? The GSM unit is installed inside the property.
What if I’m busy on the phone and someone arrives at my gate? Most units have more than one number stored per unit. Numbers can also be re-dialled for a pre-set number of attempts until someone answers. Most phones give an indication if there is a call waiting.
What can we do to keep the call costs down? Register trusted people on the system. It will allow them to trigger the gate with a free missed call.
How do I let visitors out? There are as many options available. Every product offers specific solutions, but the following (and variations thereof) are options:
Use the gate remote control.
Give the gate a missed call. It will trigger the gate. People preloaded on this list can let themselves out with a missed call.
Use a keypad and give the visitor a pin. These pins can be time-restricted. Wireless keypads are also available.
What are the monthly costs involved in running these systems?
All calls from the intercom is subject to cellular call fees. Calculate costs based on historical user visits. Introduce cost-saving measures by allowing trusted people to give the gate a missed call on entry. You can configure the system to send you an SMS when this happens. Event logs can also report these events.
Some models offer “cloud” services. These service fees are applicable only to large systems installed mostly at complexes (The MKII). Smaller domestic systems are currently excluded.
What are the Requirements?
A power source at or near to the gate. If there is already an intercom and/or gate motor installed, you should be okay.
You’ll need good GSM connectivity. Go to the point where the unit is to be installed and call someone (use a good quality phone). Check for signal strength and voice quality. Try different service provider if unsure.
Once you’ve decided on a service provider, purchase a SIM card. Don’t forget to RICA if residing in South Africa (ID and proof of residence).
The SIM card has to be configured as follows - (we can do this for you).
Place the SIM card in a suitable cellphone and follow the prompts on start up. You’ll be given a cellular number.
Activate Voice and data.
Remove PIN restrictions.
De-activate voice messaging.
Opt out of voicemail and call notifications.
Number identifying and call initiations must be checked.
Load sufficient airtime if it’s a pre-paid SIM card. (Restrict the airtime available if it’s a contract).
Some of the units allow you to enquire about the balance from another phone using a SMS string command. We advise you to register the SIM card on the website of the service provider. This will allow you to obtain balances, etc.
The SIM card is now ready to be inserted into the GSM intercom unit.
These are some of the products available. The range covers small domestic applications (2 push buttons) to very large complexes of up to 1500 users.
G-Speak Classic (2 Push buttons; one phone number for each)
G-Speak Classic Plus (2 Push buttons; two phone numbers for each)
Systell X4 (Up to 4 Push buttons; two phone numbers for each)
What to do Next
GSM based intercoms offer great flexibility. Visit the respective product page for more in-depth information.
Or call us. We'll guide you towards the right choice for your situation.