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An analytical approach to study the effects of node mobility in mobile ad hoc wireless networks is presented. The bit error rate is evaluated over fast Rician fading channels. It is shown that there is a threshold node velocity, and that a network with a certain number of mobile nodes (following the random waypoint mobility scheme) with slower velocities than the threshold velocity performs better than the corresponding network with static nodes. In particular, for a given signal- to-noise ratio and transmission range, the minimum threshold velocity is obtained. Restricting the velocities of the nodes to be at most this minimum threshold velocity results in an improvement in the bit error rate performance of ad hoc networks with an arbitrary number of nodes.