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For evolution of the GSM/EDGE radio access network (RAN), the use of higher order modulation like 16- and 32-ary quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) is considered in standardization for increased peak data rates and reduced transmission delays. In this paper, an optimized receiver design for different packet data transmission schemes is proposed. Turbo coding and turbo equalization is discussed for improved power efficiency and interference robustness. An efficient complexity reduction of the equalizer enables the usage of turbo equalization at a complexity comparable to that of separate equalization and decoding for turbo-coded transmission.