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The effect of spatial diversity on the throughput and reliability of wireless networks is examined. Spatial diversity is realized through multiple independently fading transmit/receive antenna paths in single-user communication and through independently fading links in multiuser communication. Adopting spatial diversity as a central theme, we start by studying its information-theoretic foundations, then we illustrate its benefits across the physical (signal transmission/coding and receiver signal processing) and networking (resource allocation, routing, and applications) layers. Throughout the paper, we discuss engineering intuition and tradeoffs, emphasizing the strong interactions between the various network functionalities.