Variable-rate variable-power MQAM for fading channels

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2004 Scopus citations


We propose a variable-rate and variable-power MQAM modulation scheme for high-speed data transmission over fading channels. We first review results for the Shannon capacity of fading channels with channel side information, where capacity is achieved using adaptive transmission techniques. We then derive the spectral efficiency of our proposed modulation. We show that there is a constant power gap between the spectral efficiency of our proposed technique and the channel capacity, and this gap is a simple function of the required bit5or rate (BER). In addition, using just five or six different signal constellations, we achieve within 1-2 dB of the maximum efficiency using unrestricted constellation sets. We compute the rate at which the transmitter needs to update its power and rate as a function of the channel Doppler frequency for these constellation sets. We also obtain the exact efficiency loss for smaller constellation sets, which may be required if the transmitter adaptation rate is constrained by hardware limitations. Our modulation scheme exhibits a 5-10-dB power gain relative to variable-power fixed-rate transmission, and up to 20 dB of gain relative to nonadaptive transmission. We also determine the effect of channel estimation error and delay on the BER performance of our adaptive scheme. We conclude with a discussion of coding techniques and the relationship between our proposed modulation and Shannon capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1218-1230
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Communications
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Adaptive modulation
  • Fading channels
  • Spectral efficiency


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