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The performance of an uplink-synchronous wide-band code-division multiple-access (WCDMA) system is evaluated for radio environments with low temporal dispersion. The capacity gain of synchronous WCDMA is evaluated theoretically under certain constraints and by means of extensive dynamic system level simulations for more advanced scenarios. The effect of channelization code shortage, the impact of the dispersive radio channel on the orthogonality of received signals, and soft handover are some of the considered effects. The potential capacity gain is found to equal 35.8% in a multicell scenario, conditioned on an infinite number of channelization codes per cell. For a more realistic scenario with channelization code constraints, the capacity gain is reduced to 9.6%. The absolute number of users per cell, relative to the available number of channelization codes within each scrambling code group, is therefore found to be an important metric. This further suggests that the capacity gain of synchronous WCDMA decreases when other capacity-enhancing techniques are deployed, such as uplink antenna diversity, soft handover, voice activity detection, etc. The presented simulation results in the case where soft handover is not considered accurately match the analytical findings.