ZTE Communications ›› 2017, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (S1): 21-30.DOI: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-5188.2017.S1.003

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An Overview of Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access

Anass Benjebbour   

  1. NTT DOCOMO, INC., Kanagawa 239-8536, Japan
  • Received:2016-10-11 Online:2017-06-25 Published:2020-04-14
  • About author:Anass Benjebbour (benjebbour@nttdocomo.com) obtained his Ph.D. and M.Sc. degrees in telecommunications in 2004 and 2001, respectively, and his B.Sc. diploma degree in electrical engineering in 1999, all from Kyoto University, Japan. In 2004, he joined NTT DOCOMO, INC. Since 2010, he has been a leading member of its 5G team. His research interests include novel system design concepts and radio access techniques for next generation mobile communication systems (5G), such as massive MIMO, NOMA, and waveform design. Dr. Benjebbour served as a 3GPP and ITU-R standardization delegate, a secretary of the IEICE RCS conference from 2012 to 2014, an associate editor for the IEICE Communications Magazine from 2010 to 2014, and an associate editor for the IEICE Transactions on Communications from 2014 to 2018. He is an author or a coauthor of 100+ technical publications, 4 book chapters and is an inventor of 50+ patent applications. He is a senior member of IEEE and IEICE.


In recent years, non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) has attracted a lot of attention as a novel and promising power-domain user multiplexing scheme for Long-Term Evolution (LTE) enhancement and 5G. NOMA is able to contribute to the improvement of the tradeoff between system capacity and user fairness (i.e., cell-edge user experience). This improvement becomes in particular emphasized in a cellular system where the channel conditions vary significantly among users due to the near-far effect. In this article, we provide an overview of the concept, design and performance of NOMA. In addition, we review the potential benefits and issues of NOMA over orthogonal multiple access (OMA) such as orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) adopted by LTE, and the status of 3GPP standardization related to NOMA.

Key words: multiple access, non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA), power-domain, multi-user detection, MUST