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Within a new paradigm, where wireless user cooperation is viewed as a form of (opportunistic) multipath, we exploit the unique capabilities of direct-sequence spread spectrum transmissions in handling multipath to design a novel spectrally efficient protocol for wireless cooperative networks. We show how and why our proposed system achieves diversity without increasing bandwidth. After analyzing its performance, we deduce that user capacity can be significantly improved with respect to existing third generation cellular systems in the uplink. This is particularly interesting since our scheme can be readily integrated in such networks without major changes in the existing standards.