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We propose a first-order Markov model for generalized Nakagami-m (1960) flat fading channels. Using a moment generating function (MGF) approach, we derive the parameters of the proposed model for any value of the fading severity index m ≥ 0.5. The proposed model is a generalized version of the one proposed earlier by Zorzi et al. (1995) for flat Rayleigh fading channels. For m = 1, we show that our generalized model gives the same parameter values obtained using Zorzi's approach. Our generalized model thus encompasses Zorzi's model as a special case. We illustrate the usefulness of our proposed Markov model by applying it to the analysis of the throughput and energy efficiency performance of a link layer (LL) protocol with backoff on wireless fading links with different values of the m-parameter (= 0.5,1,4).