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We identify some of the key problems that may be encountered when designing a broadband multiple access system with bandwidth on the order of tens or even hundreds of megahertz. We commence with a comparative discussion in terms of the characteristics of three typical code-division multiple access schemes: single-carrier direct-sequence CDMA (SC DS-CDMA), multicarrier CDMA (MC-CDMA), and multicarrier DS-CDMA (MC DS-CDMA). Specifically, their benefits and deficiencies are analyzed when aiming to support ubiquitous communications over a variety of channels encountered in indoor, open rural, suburban, and urban environments. It is shown that when communicating in such diverse environments, both SC DS-CDMA and MC-CDMA exhibit certain limitations that are hard to circumvent. By contrast, when appropriately selecting the system parameters and using transmit diversity, MC DS-CDMA becomes capable of adapting to such diverse propagation environments at a reasonable detection complexity.