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In this paper, we consider the downlink of large OFDMA-based networks and study their performance bounds as a function of the number of - transmitters B, users K, and resource-blocks N. Here, a resource block is a collection of subcarriers such that all such collections, that are disjoint have associated independently fading channels. In particular, we analyze the expected achievable sum-rate as a function of above variables and derive novel upper and lower bounds for a general spatial geometry of transmitters, a truncated path-gain model, and a variety of fading models. We establish the associated scaling laws for dense and extended networks, and propose design guidelines for the regulators to guarantee various QoS constraints and, at the same time, maximize revenue for the service providers. Thereafter, we develop a distributed resource allocation scheme that achieves the same sum-rate scaling as that of the proposed upper bound for a wide range of K, B, N. Based on it, we compare low-powered peer-to-peer networks to high-powered single-transmitter networks and give an additional design principle. Finally, we also show how our results can be extended to the scenario where each of the B transmitters have M (>;1) co-located antennas.