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Exact average symbol error probability (SEP) of the general order rectangular quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) with maximal ratio combining (MRC) diversity over L independent and identically distributed Nakagami-m fading channels with arbitrary fading index m is derived in this letter. The average SEP expression is given in terms of the Appell and Gauss hypergeometric functions and is then used to study the impact of diversity reception on the performance of general order rectangular QAM with different values of the quadrature-to-in-phase decision distance ratio. It is shown that the derived expression includes some existing results as special cases.
Date of Publication: December 2007