Nonorthogonal Multiple Access for 5G and beyond

Yuanwei Liu, Zhijin Qin, Maged Elkashlan, Zhiguo Ding, Arumugam Nallanathan, Lajos Hanzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1021 Scopus citations


Driven by the rapid escalation of the wireless capacity requirements imposed by advanced multimedia applications (e.g., ultrahigh-definition video, virtual reality, etc.), as well as the dramatically increasing demand for user access required for the Internet of Things (IoT), the fifth-generation (5G) networks face challenges in terms of supporting large-scale heterogeneous data traffic. Nonorthogonal multiple access (NOMA), which has been recently proposed for the third-generation partnership projects long-term evolution advanced (3GPP-LTE-A), constitutes a promising technology of addressing the aforementioned challenges in 5G networks by accommodating several users within the same orthogonal resource block. By doing so, significant bandwidth efficiency enhancement can be attained over conventional orthogonal multiple-access (OMA) techniques. This motivated numerous researchers to dedicate substantial research contributions to this field. In this context, we provide a comprehensive overview of the state of the art in power-domain multiplexing-aided NOMA, with a focus on the theoretical NOMA principles, multiple-antenna-aided NOMA design, on the interplay between NOMA and cooperative transmission, on the resource control of NOMA, on the coexistence of NOMA with other emerging potential 5G techniques and on the comparison with other NOMA variants. We highlight the main advantages of power-domain multiplexing NOMA compared to other existing NOMA techniques. We summarize the challenges of existing research contributions of NOMA and provide potential solutions. Finally, we offer some design guidelines for NOMA systems and identify promising research opportunities for the future.

Original languageBritish English
Article number8114722
Pages (from-to)2347-2381
Number of pages35
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2017


  • Cooperative communication
  • fifth generation (5G)
  • multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO)
  • nonorthogonal multiple access (NOMA)
  • power multiplexing
  • resource allocation


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