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The maximum data-rate specified in 3GPP Release 99 is 2 Mbit/s. Recently, 3GPP has issued the first set of Release 5 specifications which, amongst other features, define high-speed data packet access (HSDPA). Key drivers for the HSDPA technology are higher peak and aggregate data rates and reduced delay obtained by means of adaptive modulation and coding (AMC), fast scheduling at the node B and hybrid automatic repeat request (HARQ). A 16-QAM modulation scheme has been introduced which implies that the receiver may require an equaliser. The receiver complexity increases significantly and presents a challenge for a handset manufacturer to achieve the required performance within the economic constraints imposed by the current technology. This article addresses and discusses the design challenges from a user equipment (UE) and test mobile (TM) manufacturer perspective, and presents novel results supporting the design choice.