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Distributed cyclic delay diversity (DCDD) multistage MC-CDMA system communication system is shown to yield superior performance over traditional link network. The benefits provided by increased frequency selectivity caused by the cyclic delays are evaluated through explicit closed-form formulas for the exact average symbol error rate (SER) of M-ary signals. By using the moment generating function (MGF) of the correlated Nakagami-m random variable and considering a realistic case of frequency-correlated MC-CDMA subcarriers, allocation strategies are derived and analysed in order to maximise the end-to-end throughput. Furthermore, the application of CDD is presented for equal subchannel gains. Monte-Carlo simulations are used to numerically verify the analytical framework, which show excellent agreement.