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The HSDPA system evolution introduces new Modulation and Coding Schemes (MCSs) that use 64 QAM modulation in order to increase the maximum achievable throughput. The authors propose in this paper to evaluate with a realistic approach the new mobile categories performance in macro-cell environments. This approach is based on link level simulations and drive test measurements. By considering a classic network configuration and using the LMMSE equalizer with receiver diversity, they show that there is no throughput gain compared to Release 5 MCSs using 16-QAM modulation. However, interesting throughput enhancements are obtained when the base station increases its transmitted power to 40 Watt.
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