We consider a communication system whereby T-seconds time-limited codewords are transmitted over a W-Hz band-limited additive white Gaussian noise channel. In the asymptotic regime as WT→∞, it is known that the maximal achievable rates with such a scheme converge to Shannon's capacity with the presence of 2WT degrees of freedom. In this work we study the degrees of freedom and the achievable information rates for finite values of WT. We use prolate spheroidal wave functions to obtain an information lossless equivalent discrete formulation and then we apply Polyanskiy's results on coding in the finite block-length regime. We derive upper and lower bounds on the achievable rates and the corresponding degrees of freedom and we numerically evaluate them for sample values of 2WT. The bounds are asymptotically tight and numerical computations show the gap between them decreases as 2WT increases. Additionally, the possible decrease from 2WT in the available degrees of freedom is upper-bounded by a logarithmic function of 2WT.
Keywords: band-limited; degrees of freedom; information rates; prolate spheroidal wave functions; time-limited.