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In this paper, we consider a synchronous code-division multiple-access (CDMA) system with a multiuser receiver. All users are assumed to have symmetric signature sequences, but the presence of a subset of the users is unknown to the receiver. We first calculate the signal-to-interference ratio (SIR) in this environment for the matched-filter receiver, the decorrelating receiver, and the linear minimum mean-square error (MMSE) detector. We then identify the user capacity for a single-class system, and the effective bandwidth for a multiple-class system. The result is compared to the case of random sequences and of optimum sequences. For symmetric sequences, the effective bandwidth cannot be expressed by a scalar as in , because two constraints have to be satisfied simultaneously to satisfy the SIR requirement. We introduce a two-dimensional (2-D) vector notion of effective bandwidth with and without unknown users. For both the decorrelator and the MMSE detector, the user capacity is 1 when all users are known to the receivers and is reduced to (1-N/L) when N users are unknown (with L the processing gain). The performance of these three linear detectors, with and without unknown users, is compared.