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In this paper, we analyze transmission techniques for multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) systems from a link-layer perspective using frame error rate (FER), frame loss rate, and link throughput metrics. We introduce two new layered space-time coding variants adapted for transmission at the frame level in MIMO systems with no channel state information (CSI) at the transmitter. We analytically demonstrate that for moderate to high signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), the average FER is lower when the frames are segmented into subframes sent from different antennas rather than transmitting each frame on separate antennas. When the CSI is available at the transmitter, we investigate a new transmission technique, which uses a diagonal precoder and a subchannel selection strategy to trade off the multiplexing gain with the FER to increase the link-level throughput.