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What is GSM? (And can it transform property management?)

5 May 2021, 11:07 AM

By Melissa Lloyd Williams

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Housing Associations and private property lettings have been singing the praises of switching from analogue systems to digital for many years – and for good reason. But with so many technologies out there, how can you be sure you’re choosing the right one? Wireless technologies powered by ‘GSM’ are one example of a solution that can save both costs and resources in the long run. Let’s find out more…

So, what exactly is GSM?

You’ve probably been using it without even realising! GSM, or the Global System for Mobile Communications, isn’t new – as a digital cellular technology that transmits data such as voice and video from one device to another, it’s the foundation for mobile phone data networks, allowing us to make and receive calls. What is new, however, is its application beyond telecommunications – such as in building access and property management.

Which leads us to its use in access control devices. As a completely wireless, digital system, GSM makes plastic handsets and traditional wired intercoms redundant – allowing residents the convenience of answering the door via a simple swipe on their smartphone or tablet – without needing to be anywhere near the door or building even. Crucially, it also means housing managers can perform administrative tasks remotely too, such as updating key fob data and granting building access to contractors.

Sounds great, but how does it work?

From WiFi to Bluetooth, we’re all familiar with technologies that allow us to connect devices remotely. Allow us to get technical for a minute (stick with us!): GSM uses Time Division Multiple Access (‘TDMA’) technology to assign time slots to multiple conversation streams, alternating them in sequence, and switching between each conversation in very short intervals. In these intervals, devices can transmit compressed data from one to the other – such as a call from a contractor who wants to access a property. It’s as easy as that!

In order for the network to know which users are connected, every device needs a Subscriber Identification Module card, more commonly known as a SIM card. By linking multiple systems together, GSM enables telecommunication across several units – with extensive global coverage. This is how wireless GSM technology can be used for property management and access control as a cost-effective, remotely managed alternative to traditional hardware-based, wired intercom systems. What’s not to like? 

Making property management more intuitive 

The future is certainly digital. In fact, as the housing industry looks to digitalise even further, technology-driven property management solutions are quickly becoming essential. By using wireless technologies such as GSM, housing professionals can streamline their operations, cut unnecessary costs and reduce the amount of time spent on-site by managing their buildings remotely. 

Find out more about how GSM-enabled devices have the potential to make everyone’s lives easier in our next blog

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