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The comparison of the outage capacity for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) channel models based on different underlying approaches is made. Three different channel models are considered: the 3GPP empirical spatial channel model (SCM), a multi-element transmit and receive antenna (METRA) analytical spatial channel model (A-SCM) and the correlation-based long-term evolution (LTE) channel model. The authors evaluate the models' predicted channel capacity for different antenna element separation, array orientation and angle spread, with and without mutual coupling. The authors compare these results with measurement campaigns from the literature. The authors also derive an effective distance term that combines the antenna element separation, array orientation and angle spread parameters. The authors use this value to describe the effect on the signal correlation of the antenna output, and thereby explain the outage capacity dependence on the variables. Among the considered channels, the SCM showed the best agreement with the measurement literature, followed by the A-SCM and then the LTE model. The SCM was also the most computationally involved, followed by the A-SCM and then the LTE model. Our analysis showed that the mutual coupling had a small impact on the performance of all channel models, especially for antenna element separations greater than half a wavelength.