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In view of the rapidly increasing demands for transmission capacity of public networks and the limited number of radio frequencies available, the band efficiency of existing systems in general will become insufficient for future high-capacity requirements. This fact is becoming increasingly evident for 16 QAM-140 Mbit/s radio systerns at 3.9, 6.7, and 11.2 GHz which are in widespread use in todays long-haul transmission networks. Conceptual and technological measures for making cochannel operation feasible and practical are presented using the example of a system family. By these means, even the capacity of existing 16 QAM-140 Mbit/s radio routes with 40 MHz interleaved channel arrangements can be doubled with the particular advantage of reutilizing the existing antennas and radio equipment with only minor modifications. A progressive filter concept makes orthogonal cochannel transmission possible with negligible adjacent channel spectrum interference. Surface acoustic wave IF filters are used to convert existing systems from 0.5 rolloff to 0.19 rolloff. Special RF channel/antenna arrangements were developed for the transmission of all RF channels in both directions, including space diversity and using only two antennas. A field experiment verified the feasibility of the concept and indicated that a crosspolar interference canceller is generally not necessary for 16 QAM140 Mbit/s cochannel operation.