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We evaluate and compare several data detection schemes used in GSM systems. In particular, we compare the performance of decision feedback equalization (DFE) and nonlinear data directed estimation (NDDE) to that of maximum likelihood sequence estimation (MLSE). Establishing the performance of the basic NDDE detector is a first step in investigating the applicability of block transmission techniques to GSM systems. Our simulation results, obtained both for fading multipath channels and adjacent- and co-channel interference scenarios, suggest that the NDDE offers certain performance advantages over the DFE, and the performance of both detectors is comparable to that of the MLSE for the SNR region of interest in practical systems. Thus, they both represent viable alternatives to the MLSE detector.