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In this paper, we study the effects of multi-hop relaying on the throughput of the downstream channel in cellular systems. In particular, we compare the throughput of the multi-hop system with that of the conventional cellular system, demonstrating the achievable throughput improvement by the multi-hop relaying. We also propose a hybrid control strategy for the multi-hop relaying, in which we advocate the use of both, the direct transmission and the multi-hop relaying. Our study shows that most of the throughput gain can be obtained with the use of two- and three-hop relaying scheme. The multi-hop cellular network architecture can also be utilized as a self-configuring network mechanism that efficiently accommodates spatial and temporal variability of traffic patterns. We have studied the throughput improvement for the uniform, as well as for the non-uniform traffic distribution, and we conclude that the use of multi-hop relaying in cellular networks would be relatively robust to changes in the traffic distribution. The importance of this conclusion lies in the fact that it allows less stringent design and planning of such multi-hop cellular systems, as well as to improve the performance of the existing systems that are subject to temporal traffic changes.