Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access for 5G Systems

Submission Deadline: 15 October 2017

IEEE Access invites manuscript submissions in the area of Non-Orthogonal Multiple Access for 5G Systems.

Non-orthogonal multiple access (NOMA) has been recently recognized as a promising multiple access (MA) technique to significantly improve the spectral efficiency of mobile communication networks. For example, multiuser superposition transmission (MUST), a downlink version of NOMA, has been proposed for 3rd generation partnership project long-term evolution advanced (3GPP-LTE-A) networks. Furthermore, the use of NOMA has also been envisioned as a key component in 5th generation (5G) mobile systems. In addition to its application to cellular networks, NOMA has been demonstrated to be applicable to many other wireless networks. For example, NOMA has also been applied to TV broadcasting. A new form of NOMA, termed layered division multiplexing (LDM), has been proposed to the next-generation digital TV standard (ATSC 3.0).

The key idea of NOMA is to encourage spectrum sharing, which is similar to the concept of cognitive radio networks. Take power domain NOMA as an example, where the power domain is used for multiple access. This is fundamentally different from the previous generations of mobile networks which have been relying on the time/frequency/code domain. The main issue with conventional orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) used by 3GPP-LTE using the orthogonal multiple access (OMA) technique is that its spectral efficiency is low when some bandwidth resources, such as subcarrier channels, are allocated to users with poor channel conditions. On the other hand, the use of NOMA enables each user to have access to all the subcarrier channels, and hence the bandwidth resources allocated to the users with poor channel conditions can still be accessed by users with strong channel conditions, which significantly improves the spectral efficiency. Furthermore, compared to conventional opportunistic user scheduling which only serves the users with strong channel conditions, NOMA strikes a good balance between system throughput and user fairness. In other words, NOMA can serve users with different channel conditions in a timely manner, which provides the possibility to meet the demanding 5G requirements of ultra-low latency and ultra-high connectivity.

It is worth mentioning that NOMA has been demonstrated to be compatible with many 5G techniques. For example, massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) and NOMA can be naturally combined, where the spatial degrees of freedom offered by massive MIMO can be used to further improve the performance of NOMA. Recently, NOMA has also been applied to millimeter-wave (mmWave) communication networks, where the highly directional feature of mmWave propagation has been used to facilitate the implementation of NOMA. This Special Section in IEEE Access will provide a forum for the latest research and innovations in NOMA technologies as well as their applications, and will bridge the gap between theory and practice in the design of 5G multiple access. Prospective authors are invited to submit original manuscripts on topics including, but not limited to:

  • Information theoretic perspective of NOMA
  • New forms of NOMA
  • Hybrid NOMA and multi-carrier NOMA
  • Channel coding and modulation for NOMA
  • Nonlinear precoding for NOMA
  • Transceiver design in NOMA systems
  • MIMO techniques for NOMA
  • Resource allocation for NOMA
  • Energy-efficient NOMA
  • Millimeter-wave NOMA
  • Cognitive networking with NOMA
  • Security provisioning in NOMA
  • Cross-layer design and optimization for NOMA
  • Emerging applications of NOMA
  • Integration of NOMA with other 5G key technologies
  • Practical implementations of NOMA


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Associate Editor: Daniel Benevides da Costa, Federal University of Ceará, Brazil

Guest Editors:

  1. Trung Q. Duong, Queen’s University Belfast, UK
  2. Zhiguo Ding, Lancaster University, UK
  3. Hui-Ming Wang, Xi’an Jiaotong University, China
  4. Kamel Tourki, Huawei France Research Center, France
  5. Naofal Al-Dhahir, University of Texas at Dallas, USA


Relevant IEEE Access Special Sections:

  1. Wireless Caching Technique for 5G
  2. Deployment and Management of Small Heterogeneous Cells for 5G
  3. Physical and Medium Access Control Layer Advances in 5G Wireless Networks


IEEE Access Editor-in-Chief: Michael Pecht, Professor and Director, CALCE, University of Maryland

Paper submission: Contact Associate Editor and submit manuscript to:

For inquiries regarding this Special Section, please contact: