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A novel ultra-wide bandwidth receiver structure dubbed the "zonal" receiver is based on the qualitative nature of the probability density function of the multiple access interference. It is proposed for time-hopping ultra-wide bandwidth wireless signal detection in multiple access interference channels. In ideal free-propagation channels, the zonal receiver always meets or outperforms the conventional matched filter UWB receiver, the recently proposed soft-limiting UWB receiver and its enhanced version, the adaptive threshold soft-limiting UWB receiver. A new Rake receiver design based on the zonal receiver is proposed for signal detection in multipath fading channels. Simulation results and analysis show that this new Rake receiver can achieve larger signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio than the standard matched filter Rake receiver when multipath components are resolvable in UWB channels.