Gated communities in South Africa are starting to use fibre for more than just internet access thanks to a range of value-added offerings from Vox. These offerings are designed to not only improve communications, but also increase the value of the property and enhance its security.

“We are seeing significant growth in the development of gated communities in the country, given the benefits they offer residents. Within these, people are expecting certain services and solutions to be offered that add to the value of their properties while also providing peace of mind when it comes to safety,” says Natalie van der Merwe, senior product manager for PBX at Vox.

The Vox range of gated community communication and security solutions can be customised to fit the unique requirements of any development, whether existing or currently being developed. These solutions have been developed to provide Home Owners’ Associations with an environment where they can offer residents significant value adds.

Beyond the traditional fibre to the home access providing high-speed and reliable internet connectivity, Vox delivers an innovative telephony platform that enables residents to communicate not only with the security guards but each other as well at a zero-call cost.

“This platform sees each resident receiving a unique extension that links to the fibre, providing digital quality communication services. Security guards can contact residents in terms of visitor management and residents can phone the guards to arrange access for their guests.”

Furthermore, the system is not limited to only reach residents on a fixed handset in their home but can also link residents on their mobile devices when they are not in the community. This break-out functionality connects to the Vox network and lets residents and security stay in touch with one another irrespective of location. The communication system offers voice break-out failover functionality, with GSM being one of the most cost-effective failover technology options, in the unlikely event of the fibre network going down.

The visitor management system enables guards to capture visitor information for analysis and in the event of any incidents. Using a robust handheld scanner, the system can quickly and accurately capture relevant information. With a mobile app, residents can also make bookings for visitors to gain access at certain times.

“Even beyond this, our solutions include Guardian Eye, a remote-monitoring and management security solution that sees the integration of CCTV cameras, number plate recognition, and other security features to provide residents with peace of mind that they are as safe as they can be inside the gated community,” she says.

Other value-added features include a DSTV overlay that sees one satellite dish capable of providing full pay TV services to up to 256 homes or units in a community. There are also Internet of Things capabilities that enable more sophisticated home automation solutions for residents, such as utility metering and asset management, by linking directly to the fibre network.

“Our fibre offering to gated communities is a completely customisable solution. We understand that the needs of no two communities are the same and a cookie-cutter approach will not work. We work closely with developers and Home Owners’ Associations to deliver a value proposition that makes the most sense for that specific gated community,” concludes van der Merwe.