Cooperative communications enable efficient utilization of communication resources, by allowing nodes or terminals in a communication network to collaborate with each other in information transmission. It is a promising technique for future communication systems. In this article, we first survey cooperative communication schemes and discuss their advantages in improving system capacity and diversity. Following that, we examine the applications of cooperative relaying schemes in LTE-advanced systems. Specifically, we investigate two intra-cell coordinated multi-point schemes in LTE-advanced systems, and evaluate the performance of the schemes. It is shown that cooperative relaying leads to both network coverage extension and capacity expansion in LTE-advanced systems. Cooperative communications can significantly improve the system spectrum efficiency and performance.