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Summary form only given. The role of signal processing has traditionally been assumed away beyond the physical layer. The idea of transmitting one user at a time forms the basis of most MAC protocols. In this talk, we argue that a cross-layer design that takes into account signal processing capabilities at the physical layer will result in substantial gains in network throughput and stability margin. We consider the applications in the reach-back problem for a large scale sensor network and the use of an antenna array in wireless LAN.