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A symbol decision feedback equalization (DFE) technique is developed for demodulating complementary code keying (CCK) signals. The efficacy of the proposed receiver is demonstrated on the physical layer (PHY) specified in the IEEE 802.11b wireless local area network (WLAN) standard. Packet error rate (PER) performance is compared with that of the conventional RAKE receiver. The proposed receiver structure and its low complexity variations demonstrate significant performance advantages over the RAKE receiver, especially in severe multipath channels. While a large delay spread can limit the performance of two low-complexity variations discussed here, performance of the optimal symbol DFE receiver is not limited by delay spread as long as the channel signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is sufficiently high.