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In a downlink wireless network, the XOR network coding method was used to combine with the Hybrid-ARQ (HARQ) scheme, which can improve the retransmission efficiency of the wireless network. The average number of transmissions and the average packet delay metrics were used to evaluate the performance of the network coding based HARQ (NC-HARQ). The theoretical analysis was given to compare the NC-HARQ scheme with traditional HARQ scheme, both in the broadcast and unicast scenarios. The theoretical analysis and simulation results show that the NC-HARQ can reduce the average number of trans-missions and benefit the retransmission efficiency with some packet delay expense.