The last few years have witnessed a tremendous growth of the demand for wireless services and a significant increase of the number of mobile subscribers. A recent data traffic forecast from Cisco reported that the global mobile data traffic reached 1.2 zettabytes per year in 2016, and the global IP traffic will increase nearly threefold over the next 5 years. Based on these predictions, a 127-fold increase of the IP traffic is expected from 2005 to 2021. It is also anticipated that the mobile data traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes per year by 2021, and that the number of mobile-connected devices will reach 3.5 per capita.
With such demands for higher data rates and for better quality of service (QoS), fifth generation (5G) standardization initiatives, whose initial phase was specified in June 2018 under the umbrella of Long Term Evolution (LTE) Release 15, have been under vibrant investigation. In particular, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has identified three usage scenarios (service categories) for 5G wireless networks: (i) enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), (ii) ultra-reliable and low latency communications (uRLLC), and (iii) massive machine type communications (mMTC). The vast variety of applications for beyond 5G wireless networks has motivated the necessity of novel and more flexible physical layer (PHY) technologies, which are capable of providing higher spectral and energy efficiencies, as well as reduced transceiver implementations.
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Recent years have witnessed the explosive growth of mobile data traffic, which has led to ever-increasing demand for high system throughput, massive user access, heterogeneous data traffic, high bandwidth efficiency, and ultra-low latency. Non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) has received considerable attention in both industry and academia as an efficient multiple access scheme to meet this demand. The concept of NOMA is to encourage spectrum sharing and to accommodate multiple users in the same orthogonal resource block, such as a time slot, a frequency band, and a spatial direction. By doing so, high bandwidth efficiency and massive connectivity can be attained. Because of its superior performance, NOMA has already been included in the 3rd generation partnership project long-term evolution advanced (3GPP-LTE-A) standard and the next generation digital TV standard (ATSC 3.0), while new proposals for including NOMA in the 5G New Radio (NR) have been put forward. While the principle of NOMA has been well accepted by both academia and industry, there are still many open issues related to the required signal processing. The aim of this special issue is to present solutions for signal processing and practical implementation problems related to NOMA, in order to close the gap between theory and practice. In fact, this special issue presents innovative solutions to advanced signal processing designs for of NOMA systems.
The special issue published by IEEE Journal of Selected Topics on Signal Processing in June 2019 aimed to showcase the variety of topics outlined in the Call for Papers. These papers cover a wide range of topics in the area of advanced signal processing for NOMA.
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