Easy access control

June 2010 Access Control & Identity Management

Telephone-based intercom systems are an effective way of controlling and recording access to housing and business complexes. Intercoms that rely on cabled telephone infrastructures have been around for years, but carry the disadvantage of infrastructure maintenance and limited scope. A new breed of cellular-based intercom systems cuts the wires out of the system and allows home and business owners to control access to their environment even when not on the premises.

Comb Communications is a manufacturing concern based in Gauteng. The company locally produces cellular-based intercom systems for business complexes and housing estates. More than merely providing the hardware, Comb also makes it easy for body corporates to manage the systems with its new G2 intercom system, co-manufactured with Centurion Systems.

Traditionally, setting up and maintaining an intercom system required a technician who would add, remove or change numbers as people moved or requested additional access functionality. All this at a cost. Comb has changed the way its intercoms are maintained by allowing authorised personnel to access and update settings via the Internet.

Once an estate's access controls have been set up over the new Web application, hosted on Comb's site, the details are synchronised with the physical intercom device via a cellular connection. Within 24 hours at most, the new data will be in effect.

Management with ease

Furthermore, additional functionality to manage the estate is also available on the site. For example, the Input Management Structure alerts complex managers via SMS when the electric fence alarm is triggered or when the entrance or exit gate is left open. It also creates a log entry when the intercoms device is opened. In short, those responsible for managing the access control are always able to ascertain what is happening with the device, without the need to drive to site.

The system is also able to implement time-based access control, allowing certain entrance PIN numbers to grant access at certain times. For example, between 0700 and 0900 when domestic workers arrive, and between 1600 and 1700 when they leave, their PIN codes can be activated, but deactivated at other times. This provides freedom of movement for the workers, while still keeping the estate secure.

With the G2, residents are also able to initiate communication with the security officers at the gate when necessary. This is also a step up from the traditional method which required communication to be initiated from the gate. G2 is also able to integrate with Nova remotes, which offers signal hopping to make access more secure.

Comprehensive reporting

A comprehensive reporting infrastructure is also provided, reporting on numbers dialled, PIN numbers used and the time, date and description of gate openings. The system also breaks down calls into timeslots per unit, allowing managing agents to allocate accurate costs to each unit. In addition, the system also records any changes made to the system.

For more information contact Comb Communications, +27 (0)11 805 9098, [email protected]

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