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How exactly are diversity combining and multiplexing different?

My current understanding is that, in certain types of diversity combining such as maximal ratio combining, the same message is sent over different frequencies and then all the messages are collected and based on information of the SNR they are weighted and used as additional info to decode the message.

This seems to be the same concept involved in multiplexing. I am not quite understanding what is happening differently in multiplexing. Can someone please clarify?

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  • $\begingroup$ "combining such as maximal ratio combining, the same message is sent over different frequencies" no, not usually. At the receiver, you use multiple e.g. antennas to observe the same signal, then weighted (often with a complex factor to reflect both phase and amplitude differences), and then added up, is what most commonly is referred to as diversity combining.You can actually do the same with a single antenna and multiple identicals signals mixed to different frequencies. Multiplexing is only the principle of putting multiple signals into one;be it in time domain,frequency domain,with codes $\endgroup$ – Marcus Müller Aug 20 '16 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ That answer actually clears up a lot of holes. May you please post it as an answer? $\endgroup$ – Christian Aug 20 '16 at 16:37
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diversity combining such as maximal ratio combining, the same message is sent over different frequencies

That is not inherently true.

Diversity combining makes use of different channels (not in the "TV channel" sense, but in the "everything that happens to a signal" sense).

Those channels might be created by over different frequencies all carrying the same signal, but often/usually, at the receiver, you use multiple e.g. antennas to observe the same signal.

The different signals are then weighted (often with a complex factor to reflect both phase and amplitude differences), and then added up, is what most commonly is referred to as diversity combining.

You could actually do the same with a single antenna and multiple identical signals mixed to different frequencies. However, that has little to no diversity gain: You actually need $N$ times the bandwidth of the original signal, so you could as well just transmit more data, add more redundancy etc.

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