Chapter 2

Method for Determining the Quality of a Communication Channel

2.1    Background

In digital communications, a precise knowledge of the parameters characterizing the quality of a communication channel is extremely important for efficient data transmission. The classical Shannon result states that the data rate of a communication channel is a function of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). For a given signal, the increase in the noise level adversely affects the quality of transmission. The amount of information that can be reliably transmitted over a communication channel decreases as the noise increases [1,2,3].

The precise knowledge of the SNR of a channel dictates how much information will ultimately be transmitted. If one underestimates ...

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