Managing Communities: Phone Entry Systems

Here's What You Need to Know 

How Does It Work?

Telephone entry or Intercom systems are used to allow access or entry into a multi residential environment or office building. The resident is alerted someone is at the door when a guest or visitor approaches the phone entry panel and dials the business or homeowner . The person answers from their telephone and communicates verbally with them. By pressing a specific button on the phone, a signal is sent to the electric strike or electrified lock to unlock the door and allow entry. In this simplest form, the components include an electric strike or electrified lock, door station, base station, power supply and wiring. In some cases a separate power supply is required for the lock or strike; in other cases one power supply will power all components.

Mircom Phone Entry Panel
Mircom Phone Entry Panel

For decades, telephone entry systems were physical landline-based systems.  This meant that in order to operate this system, a home or business owner must have had a telephone line installed. From the 1980s to 2000s, this type of landline connection was readily available in most urban areas because landline telephones were still used by the masses;  but purchasing such a system for use in a more rural area was still challenging because the cost to have telephone landlines laid was often cost-prohibitive and time consuming. 

Traditional Telephone

Today, while many traditional telephone entry systems still use landline telephone connections, newer technology has developed that utilizes cellular and VoIP connections to place calls. VoIP (Voice over IP) allows users to use voice communications through an internet connection. This is not only a cost effective method of connections, it also provides more security and dependability. Only requiring  an internet connection and a static IP address (an IP address that never changes), this method of communication is pretty standard today with new systems. 

Cellphone entry systems work on cellular telephone networks, so they do not require the use of landlines. They still provide the same voice-based functionality, where a visitor can hit a “call” button and it will ring a designated number where someone can speak to them and grant access. But because most people today have “smart” cellphones that allow them to see video feed and download apps, cellphone entry systems have many more capabilities than previous landline-based telephone entry systems ever could have. Some of these features include video capabilities and cloud based services.

Cellphone entry systems work on cellular telephone networks, so they do not require the use of landlines.  They still provide the same voice-based functionality, where a visitor can hit a “call” button and it will ring a designated number where someone can speak to them and grant access.  But because most people today have “smart” cellphones that allow them to see video feed and download apps, cellphone entry systems have many more capabilities than previous landline-based telephone entry systems ever could have. Some of these features include video capabilities and cloud based services. 

What’s New?

As technology evolves, phone entry systems are adding enhanced features that offer more insight and management capabilities for the end user. One very advantageous feature is the use of video streaming. Phone entry systems like the Liftmaster CAPXLV, have built in cameras that give users a live view of who is approaching an entry or exit. Events are recorded on the cloud and can be played back and downloaded when needed. Phone entry systems with video capabilities provide an extra layer of security against vandalism, theft or property damage.

Access points (entries and exits) can be monitored in real time, protecting residents and guests against unauthorized access. This also gives residents the ability to visually verify guests to open a gate or door remotely. Facilities can access their live feed and event data from anywhere in the world with a browser or optimized app downloaded to their phones or laptops.

Alpha Touch Phone Entry System Panel

With these advanced systems, like the Alpha Touch Video Intercom system, facilities can track and manage packages or create community events (like “Trash Day”). Residents can grant access to guests from a personal cell phone and send virtual keys for visitors who need access when residents are not home.  These systems utilize mobile apps and online video management software to give users the flexibility of being off site, while still managing access.

Facility Management In The Cloud

Upload to the cloud
Cloud based management gives you all the flexibility you need.

Most systems offer cloud based hosting solutions tailored to the facilities need. Cloud based hosting and data management allows home and business owners to store the information for their systems in the cloud. There are many advantages to this. Data will never be lost, if there is a power outage or a malfunction at the local panel resident or employee data is stored and can be reloaded onto the panel remotely. Managing users is done via a web based browser so no software needs to be downloaded and maintained. 

  • Cloud service always stays current with technology; your investment won’t become obsolete.
  • Update resident names on the go, never have to take the system offline.
  • Hard drives will never crash.
  • Back-up is automatically performed.
  • Vandalism or a natural disaster could never affect the data base.
  • No need for multiple servers at multiple locations.
  • No software to install.
  • Manage the access control system for one or hundreds of facilities.
  • Unlimited site and device capacity.
  • Unlimited credentials and administrators.
  • Future-proof functionality.
  • Increased flexibility, reliability and resiliency.
  • Unlimited number of door readers/accounts/workstations.
  • Remotely manage multiple sites from a single login.

Back to posts