Shannon Capacity of a GSM Channel in Fading Environment

In the previous post we calculated the Shannon Capacity of a 200kHz GSM channel in AWGN (Additive White Gaussian Noise). However, in a practical scenario the capacity is limited by time varying fading and interference. Let us consider a fading channel with four possible states corresponding to SNRs of 15dB, 10dB, 5dB and 0dB. The probability of these states is 0.50, 0.25, 0.15 and 0.10 respectively. The Shannon Capacity of such a channel is given as (assuming that the channel state information is known at the receiver):

C=Σ B*log2(1+SNRi)* p(SNRi)

C=B*(Σ log2(1+SNRi)* p(SNRi))



Assuming that only one out of eight time slots is allocated to any user the Shannon Capacity of a GSM channel is reduced to 94.68kbps.

Note: The contribution of the high SNR states dominates the capacity of the channel. The contribution of the four states in terms of percentage capacity is given as 66.38%, 22.84%, 8.14% and 2.64%.

Author: Yasir Ahmed (aka John)

More than 20 years of experience in various organizations in Pakistan, the USA, and Europe. Worked as a Research Assistant within the Mobile and Portable Radio Group (MPRG) of Virginia Tech and was one of the first researchers to propose Space Time Block Codes for eight transmit antennas. The collaboration with MPRG continued even after graduating with an MSEE degree and has resulted in 12 research publications and a book on Wireless Communications. Worked for Qualcomm USA as an Engineer with the key role of performance and conformance testing of UMTS modems. Qualcomm is the inventor of CDMA technology and owns patents critical to the 4G and 5G standards.

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2 thoughts on “Shannon Capacity of a GSM Channel in Fading Environment

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