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The Pros and Cons of Opening Security Gates with Smart Phones

Combining your iPhone or Android device with a menu of apps turns the smartphone into a multitasking electronic assistant that delivers you a wide range of functionality.

Besides serving as a phone, camera, GPS system, web browser and replacement for carrying credit cards, now your smart device can open the security gate in your gated community or workplace.

The technology is readily available. So, is replacing radio frequency ID (RFID) chips or fobs a good idea? Does it make sense to be able to “call” the gate and have it open for you or a guest?

Let’s take a look at the benefits and potential disadvantages of using available technology to allow smartphones to open security gates. 

How Smartphone Gate Opening Systems Work

First, here is how the technology works. The security gate is outfitted with a small 3G cellular gate opener device that receives phone calls. Each resident of the community registers a phone number to be used, and it is programmed into the system. An administrator with an access code registers the phone numbers.

There’s no need for a pin number; the caller’s phone number is recognized by the receiver, and the security gate opener activates the gate when called from a registered number.

Reasons to Open Security Gates with Smartphones

Here are the advantages of opening security gates with phones:

  • The technology is available and affordable
  • The system offers ease and convenience
  • No more PIN number to remember
  • No key fob or RFID card to carry
  • You’re more likely to remember to take your phone with you than a key fob or RFID card
  • Any phone number can be easily removed from the system for security purposes when a resident moves
  • Community management no longer has to issue fobs or RFID cards and deal with replacing them if lost, stolen or damaged
  • Security is enhanced because there are no lost or stolen fobs or cards that can be used to open the gate
  • Allowing guests to enter the community is done with a simple call
  • Since the call is not answered in the conventional sense, it is not a charged call on most cellphone plans
  • Numbers can be quickly added or removed by the administrator via a PC or text message
  • The receiving device is affordable and easy to install
  • System capacity 1,150 phone numbers
  • Easy to setup and program by Text Messaging, from your smartphone or Desktop PC with free available programs that synchronize with your smartphone messaging system
  • Download report of gate traffic with phone numbers  


Concerns about Phone-Activated Security Gates

Since the gate can be opened from anywhere using a cellphone, the risk of accidentally dialing the gate is possible. However, since the gate is only open for a brief period of time before closing, it poses little threat. Criminals looking for access are more likely to study the habits of residents and wait for an opportunity of entering when a resident enters.

Secondly, in the rare event of a cellphone system being down, residents wouldn’t be able to operate the gate. The remedy for this is to use an alternate phone such as a landline or a keypad. If a keypad is installed, the resident would get out of the vehicle and manually enter a code.

The last concern is that the cellphone numbers of residents could be available to view by the system administrator. However, since we typically give out our phone numbers quite readily, this is not a concern for most. The convenience far outweighs any potential risk.


Because of the convenience and enhanced security they offer to residents and management, a phone-activated system is well worth considering for your community. Contact us today at 1-850-701-0590 to learn more about installing one in your gated community or at your workplace.