The wire discone is essentially an approximation to a solid discone antenna, where the cone and disc are replaced by radial conductors. The discone antenna is a monopole variation of the biconical antenna using a small ‘ground plane’, therefore the discone is a modified dipole shape. Dipole modifications are often used to obtain wide-band operation without greatly increasing complexity. Wide angle biconical antennas are popular for their wide impedance bandwidth and omnidirectional radiation coverage. The wire discone variation may be preferred when reduced physical size and weight, or radiation mainly in one half-space is required.
Because of the wire construction, wire discones are much lighter than equivalent solid discones, and suffer from smaller wind loadings. This makes the wire discone practical in the HF and VHF bands, while the solid discone is better suited for UHF and microwave band applications. The wire construction does however reduce the achievable impedance bandwidth as compared to the solid discone.