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The nonlinear amplifying loop mirror (NALM) has been explored for use as a nonlinear phase-shift compensator (NPSC). Operation conditions for a tunable effective negative nonlinearity are considered and the NALM parameter optimization is discussed for direct bit-error-ratio (BER) improvement by postcompensation after a nonlinear transmission line. In this configuration, the fundamental limits for NPSC are estimated for differential quadrature phase-shift keying (DQPSK) using a simplified model. Numerical simulations of a 20 Gb/s RZ-DQPSK transmission system confirmed the applicability of this model and showed a significant BER improvement in a realistic transmission line. Alternatively, the fiber launch power per span could be increased by 2 dB for the same BER.