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We investigate the spectral efficiency, achievable by a low-complexity symbol-by-symbol receiver, when linear modulations based on the superposition of uniformly time- and frequency-shifted replicas of a base pulse are employed. Although orthogonal signaling with Gaussian inputs achieves capacity on the additive white Gaussian noise channel, we show that, when finite-order constellations are employed, by giving up the orthogonality condition (thus accepting interference among adjacent signals) we can considerably improve the performance, even when a symbol-by-symbol receiver is used. We also optimize the spacing between adjacent signals to maximize the achievable spectral efficiency. Moreover, we propose a more involved transmission scheme, consisting of the superposition of two independent signals with suitable power allocation and a two-stage receiver, showing that it allows a further increase of the spectral efficiency. Finally, we show that a more involved equalization algorithm, based on soft interference cancellation, allows to achieve an excellent bit-error-rate performance, even when error-correcting codes designed for the Gaussian-noise limited channel are employed, and thus does not require a complete redesign of the coding scheme.
Date of Publication: October 2009