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The authors analyse concatenated bit-interleaved coded modulation and orthogonal space-time block codes (OSTBC) over fading channels in the absence and presence of channel state information (CSI) in receiver. The authors derive analytical expressions for bit and frame error probabilities based on which corresponding designing rules are proposed. The analytical results are for arbitrary rate of constituent STBC and arbitrary convolutional code, and for CSI-aware receiver is for any number of transmit and receive antennas. Simulation results are presented to confirm the validity of the proposed designing rules. Moreover, the simulation results show that the proposed system outperforms concatenated trellis coded modulation and OSTBC.