A panel antenna broadcasts in one direction while a dome antenna broadcasts in all directions simultaneously.
The indoor antenna is responsible for allowing your phone to communicate with the rest of the system and should ideally be placed central to the coverage area you intend to enhance. There are two main types of inside antennas offered with cell phone signal booster systems: panel and dome. We'll cover both in this article.
Panel antennas are directional, which means that they focus most of the signal they broadcast in one direction, so the signal strength and coverage area in the direction that they are pointed is going to be greater than a dome antenna, which broadcasts in all directions. Panel antennas are better at penetrating internal walls and floors because of their directionality.
A panel antenna can be installed in a building in the following ways:
- For maximum coverage, it is best placed in the attic or crawlspace above the floors that need coverage
- Optionally on the ceiling facing downwards if the space above is not accessible
- Finally, on the wall at the end of a hallways or room broadcasting across the space will work, but typically provides the smallest coverage area
For some signal boosters systems, a panel antenna is included as the outside antenna, so it takes the place of a yagi directional antenna. The panel antenna should be mounted to a vertical pole on the roof of the building in this situation.
Dome antennas are omni-directional, which means that they will broadcast signal in all directions on the same floor with equal strength, and are designed to be mounted to a drop ceiling in the center of the space that needs better signal. Since dome antennas are difficult to mount to a hard ceiling, they are more often used in professional installations in buildings or locations with an exposed ceiling.