How our NB-IoT smartlocks work

Our smartlocks use NB-IoT, a narrowband and low power communications technology running on mobile networks that spans 70 countries.


Generate timed digital keys

A user generates a request for a digital key for a specific lock in a booking calendar inside our cloud-based access management software (or digital keys app) for any future date and time. 


Request arrives at our platform

The Digital Key request arrives at our NB-IoT platform which is hosted in a public cloud at Amazon Web Services (AWS) or your local Mobile Network Operator (MNO). The platform assigns a unique ID for this digital key request and stores in the cloud access management software database. The platform also send the digital key app on the users phone where it appears as an unlock icon button. 


User hits unlock button in app

When the time comes to use the digital key during the period is was created for, the user hits app unlock button in the digital keys app, which sends unlock command into our NB-IoT platform to check validity/time and if the user if authorised/validated the command  routes from our NB-IoT platform into the global NB-IoT network which exists on local mobile networks.


Unlocking event data extracted

The unlock command arrives at the lock SIM, the lock wakes up, and activates the motor to unlock. The lock sends a message back to NB-IoT platform database and management software about this unlocking event and forwards notification to account owner's mobile phone.


Features to help you better manage your assets


Smartphone unlocking

A simple, user-friendly, end-to-end smart access control system for use anywhere. 


Easy installation anywhere

It is not restricted by onsite power and onsite network infrastructure.


Higher security with NB-IoT

NB IoT is the only licensed IoT communications technology globally, offering enhanced security

Connected cloud system

Facilitates physical security/access management of in new ‘connected’ ways


Better than Wi-Fi/BLE rivals

A system more reliable, more affordable and more secure than rival Wi-Fi/BLE smart locks


Many opening methods

Unlock with smartphone apps, software, time-sensitive PIN, NFC cards/tokens, metal key 


Less costs

No physical labour involved in key management and distribution (end-user self automated)


Safety tracking

Meet Occupational Health and Safety requirements for employee tracking/ reporting 


Better customer experience

Stress free and easy access to the rented or managed property with digital keys


System Architecture


2048 bit

RSA encryption

Developer API- to 3rd party apps/software/platform

Smartlocks include iSIM's + 30MB pre-paid data* & IoT Modules (NB-IoT, LTE-M, LTE, 2G/3G)**



Mobile Network


Hosted in public or private  cloud environment for backend, apps/software + routes to Global IoT Network

Digital Keys

NB-IoT Cloud Platform

Global IoT network/platform 

Exists on existing mobile networks - available on 160 Nationwide Mobile Networks in over 60 countries^

NB-IoT smartlocks

Digital Keys app

and Access Management Software

Local unlocking with NFC^^

2 Factor Authentication

256 Bit SSL 


Download apps for free from online stores to control access and unlocking for time-sensitive use 



3GPP Security




Featured Customer

Aruba Beach Resort Digital Keys App project

Based on the Gold Coast in Australia, Aruba Beach Resort is a 3 star-rated three-storey walk up resort apartment building ideally situated only 200 metres from the beach, Casino and Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre. Resort rooms have fully equipped kitchens and private balconies.

Task - The owners of the Resort had been using metal keys for room access since the resort was built in the early nineties and they had grown sick of paying locksmiths $150 to come out and replace locks atleast once a week from guests who had lost their keys, or forgotten their keys.

Solution Digital Keys built a self check-in app and system which enabled guests to self check-in on their phones and receive a unique time-sensitive code emailed to them to unlock their rooms. The guests were able to change the code to something they could easily remember like their bank PIN code. This way the guests just had to remember their PIN and enter into the numberpad locks on their room doors (and common doors) to let themselves in.  Guests liked the fact that they did not have to carry around metal keys to access their properties.  


Benefit The managers who live on site were happy to be able to sleep fully through the night again as they never had to get up to let in guests who had locked themselves out in the middle of the night. The cost savings from not having to pay locksmiths to come out to replace the locks quickly added up.

Watch Video

"The Digital Keys system is such a user-friendly system, anyone can easily pick it up and use it"


Gail Kennedy



Important Information 

*All our NB-IoT smartlocks come fitted with a free iSIM card and 30MB of pre-paid data to connect to the Global IoT Network (NB-IoT, LTE-M)

Our iSIM's work in over 20 countries and last approximately 2-5 years (based on 3-6 activations a day). See available countries on our network coverage map page here.

^^Local NFC unlocking (with NFC compatible phones, cards, rings etc) can be used after programming the smartlocks once for time-sensitive use over NB-IoT network and writing to cards with digital keys app

**NB-IoT smartlocks powered by 4AA standard alkaline batteries (Life approx 2 years with 4-6 activations a day) or use 2 2450mAH lithium thionyl chloride 3.6V batteries to extend life to approx 5 years

Learn More

compare access control systems

From the image above, you can immediately see one of the key benefits NB IoT smart access has over other brands, and that is there is ‘no onsite network infrastructure’.

When smart locks first came onto the market a couple of years ago, they were targeted at homeowners, with benefits marketed such as; Give a digital key to a cleaner which only works from 11am-1pm every Wednesday, and so much more...