Glossary  >  Downlink



A donor antenna receives a signal from a cell tower and delivers it to an in-building signal enhancement system like a distributed antenna system (DAS).

Donor antennas create a bi-directional interface through a downlink and uplink to bring signals in and out of a building. The downlink is the signal moving toward the building, and the uplink is the signal sent away from the building.

Donor antennas are most often mounted externally on the roof of the building, so a trained professional is often required to complete the installation.

Among the key things you need to understand before settling on a donor antenna are directional and omni-directional antennas:

  • A directional antenna will offer you higher gain, better signal quality, and reduced interference because it draws the donor signal only from the cellular tower it’s pointed at. For best performance, a directional antenna needs isolation from other cell towers and sources of signal noise, like internal broadcast antennas.
  • An omni-directional antenna is best suited to situations where the donor signal comes from multiple sources within a 360-degree radius, like cell towers from different carriers in opposite directions from each other. Receiving and broadcasting in all directions does have a few downsides though, like lower antenna gain and no ability to isolate the antenna from sources of signal noise.

Example of Donor Antenna in a sentence

"A donor antenna is the antenna that interfaces with the cell tower in a cellular amplification system."

Related Terms for Donor Antenna