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Origination probability for cochannel interference is introduced to the study of the influence of all cochannel interferers surrounding the base station of interest. In addition, the probability of cochannel interference, which is of importance in determining system parameters in a cellular communication scheme, is evaluated for the mobile radio environment as expressed by Rayleigh fading and shadowing. As a consequence, the optimal number of radio channels to allocate to each cell is derived through the use of a simple mathematical model. The theoretical results obtained are useful not only as a step in the maturation of the cellular land mobile radio system, but also for the development of the portable radio telephone system.