This article describes the benefits of including cross-layer information in the scheduling mechanism of a UMTS downlink channel. In particular, the information obtained from the fast power control algorithm is used to properly schedule transmissions. A prioritization function that exploits the short-term channel variations is proposed. This strategy is shown to be a feasible approach to improve system performance in terms of capacity and delay. This enhancement is obtained as a benefit of intrinsic multi-user diversity. The proposal is applicable within the current UMTS radio resource management framework.
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