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Space–time encoders exploiting concatenated coding structures are efficient in attaining the high rates available to large-dimensional multiple-transmitter, multiple-receiver wireless systems under fading conditions, while also providing maximal diversity benefits. We present a multistage iterative decoding structure that takes full advantage of the concatenated nature of the transmission path, treating the modulator and channel stages as an additional encoder in serial concatenation. This iterative decoder architecture allows an encoder employing decoupled coding and modulation to reach the performance of coded modulation systems. It also admits reduced-complexity decoding with a computational load that is nonexponential in the number of antennas or the transmission bit rate, and makes practical decoding for large transmitter arrays possible. The performance curves for these methods follow the shape of the Fano bound, with only a modest power penalty.