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We study the problem of power efficient multiuser beamforming transmission for both uplink and downlink. The base station is equipped with multiple antennas, whereas the mobile units have single antennas. In the uplink, interference is canceled by successive decoding. In the downlink, ideal "dirty paper" precoding is assumed. The design goal is to minimize the total transmit power while maintaining individual SINR constraints. In the uplink, the optimization problem is solved by a recursive formula with low computational complexity. The downlink problem is solved by exploiting the duality between uplink and downlink; thus, the uplink solution carries over to the downlink. In the second part of the paper, we show how the solution can be applied to the problem of rate balancing in Gaussian multiuser channels. We propose a strategy for throughput-wise optimal transmission for broadcast and multiple access channels under a sum power constraint. Finally, we show that single-user transmission achieves the sum capacity in the low-SNR regime. We completely characterize the SNR-range where single-user transmission is optimal.