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A finite state radio channel model for wireless personal area networks (WPAN) is presented. It is based on a semi-Markov process of the channel impulse response (CIR) energy. To improve the time variant behavior of traditional state models, the proposed process includes the tendency of CIR energy fluctuations. The parameters of the model are extracted from a stochastic radio channel model which takes into account all relevant propagation effects in indoor environments. In a second step, the energy states are mapped to bit error rates. This is done using the physical layer proposal from the future IEEE standard 802.15.3 for high rate WPANs. The proposed model is compared with an existing semi-Markov channel model.