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In this paper, a new reference symbol (RS) mapping scheme for the Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) long-term evolution (LTE) and LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) downlink is proposed to improve channel estimation performance in high-mobility communication scenarios. The proposed scheme employs null subcarriers to guard RSs, which helps mitigate the effect of intercarrier interference (ICI) on subcarriers carrying RSs. Additionally, the proposed scheme allows the ICI gain parameters to be estimated via a simple frequency-domain estimator. Modified Cramer-Rao bound (MCRB) expressions are derived for the proposed scheme, as well as for the conventional RS mapping scheme defined in the 3GPP LTE and LTE-A standards to compare their performance at high mobile user speeds. These bounds, together with mean square errors obtained from simulations, reveal superior performance achieved by the proposed scheme in high-mobility scenarios. Additionally, at high mobile user speeds, the proposed scheme offers significant bit-error-rate (BER) performance improvement over the standard RS mapping.