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Recently, the cooperative communication has been explored more and more as an impressing technique to combat the effects of channel fading and to reduce the energy consumption in wireless networks. However, the impact of cooperative communications on transmission rate has not been well-addressed yet. In this paper, we provide an analytical framework for transmission rate enhancement issue in wireless communications. For a given transmit power and a desired probability of success, we investigate how much average transmission rate can be increased by cooperative communications. Three transmission models have been compared: the direct transmission, the cooperative transmission without maximal ratio combiner (MRC), and cooperative transmission with MRC. The analytical and numerical results show that around 1 - 3b/s/Hz transmission rate can be improved when the source-destination distance is 20m. We also reveal that the MRC scheme is not always beneficial, especially when the source-destination distance is short and the relay is close to the destination.