A multi-rate wireless communications system that supports a plurality of distributed user terminals in full-duplex simultaneous communications with a central base station, where each user terminal is provided on demand with one of multiple bit rates at a negotiated QOS is provided. Each user is assigned a variable bit rate, a variable processing gain, a variable transmit power and a unique fixed rate spreading code, resulting in a constant bandwidth signal received at a relative power level corresponding to the negotiated QOS. This application can be applied to systems including wireless local loop and mobile cellular. By adjusting signal energy and interference energy, variable bit rates and negotiated QOS parameters can be supported. The forward link between base-station and user terminal, and the reverse link between the user terminal and base-station, can correspond to either a Frequency Division Duplexing (FDD) arrangement where the forward and reverse links occupy different carrier frequencies but overlap in time, or a Time Division Duplexing (TDD) arrangement where the forward and reverse links occupy the same carrier frequency but are in non-overlapping time intervals.