Non-Peaky Signals in Wideband Fading Channels: Achievable Bit Rates and Optimal Bandwidth
In the context of fading channels it is well established that, with a constrained transmit power, the bit rates achievable by signals that are not ”peaky” vanish as the bandwidth grows without bound. Stepping back from the limit, we characterize the highest bit rate achievable by such non-peaky signals and the approximate bandwidth where that apex occurs. As it turns out, the gap between the highest rate achievable without peakedness and the infinite-bandwidth capacity (with unconstrained peakedness) is small for virtually all settings of interest to wireless communications. Thus, although strictly achieving capacity in wideband fading channels does require signal peakedness, bit rates not far from capacity can be achieved with conventional signaling formats that do not exhibit the serious practical drawbacks associated with peakedness. In addition, we show that the asymptotic decay of bit rate in the absence of peakedness usually takes hold at bandwidths so large that wideband fading models are called into question. Rather, ultrawideband models ought to be used.