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This paper reports on the development of a flexible 5-MBd equalized M-QAM testbed for high-speed wireless data communications. The unit operates in real time and was field tested in typical indoor environments. A total of 3600 independent experiments were conducted using the testbed where one of 4-, 16-, 64-QAM constellations were transmitted, and the performance as a function of adaptive equalization and antenna selection diversity was studied. The experimental results presented here help put previous simulation and analytical results into perspective and demonstrate some of the performance bounds associated with a practical implementation. The field trial results show that with only 10-mW of transmit power, reliable 10-Mbit/s data communication can take place in between rooms with a coverage radius of 17 m, and better than 15% outage at an uncoded bit error rate (BER) of 10/sup -3/. The addition of two-branch antenna selection diversity to the system would allow 10-Mbit/s transmission at better than 3% outage and 20-Mbit/s transmission at 10% outage in the same environment. Moreover, 30-Mbit/s data transmission is feasible when both the transmitter and receiver are located within the same room, albeit at higher outage levels. In general, the results demonstrate the tremendous impact that adaptive equalization can have on the achievable performance of indoor links. Average SNR was improved anywhere from 8 dB to 12 dB depending on the particular environment and data rate. The impact on the outage performance, however, was much more dramatic.