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Simultaneous measurements with 10 MHz bandwidth at 2.5, 3.5 and 5.8 GHz were performed in a rural/semi-rural environment in the UK. The measurements were processed to generate power delay profiles to estimate the root mean square delay spread of the channel. The frequency range of the orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) symbol bandwidth that has dropped below a predefined level, termed herein as average fade bandwidth, and the corresponding level crossing are employed to quantify the severity of frequency selectivity. The channel data were used to estimate the bit error rate, for the 256 carrier-OFDM IEEE802.16 standard using a frequency domain channel simulator especially designed for the study. It was found that the performance of quasi-stationary wireless broadband systems depends mainly upon the frequency selectivity and the channel coding rate with 1/2 rate coding giving a superior performance to 3/4 rate coding. Puncturing was found to weaken the capability of forward error correction coding in the presence of series of deep fades in the channel transfer function.