We consider the rates achievable by a user in a multibeam satellite system for unicast applications and propose alternatives to the conventional single-user symbol-by-symbol detection applied at user terminals. Single-user detection is known to suffer from strong degradation when the terminal is located near the edge of the coverage area of a beam and when aggressive frequency reuse is adopted. For this reason, we consider multiuser detection and take into account the strongest interfering signal. We also analyze two additional transmission strategies requiring modifications at medium access control layer. We describe an information-theoretic framework to compare the different strategies by computing the information rate of the user in the reference beam. Furthermore, we analyze the performance of coded schemes that could approach the information-theoretic limits. We show that classical codes from the DVB-S2(X) standard are not suitable when multiuser detection is adopted and we propose two ways to improve the performance based on the redesign of the code and of the bit mapping.
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