A code division multiple access system method and apparatus provides for allocation of increased bandwidth to a requesting mobile station. An access controller receives a data burst request (from either a requesting mobile station or from an external network already in connection with the mobile station) requesting a first data rate in excess of the basic data rate B allocated to a mobile station of a first cell. The access controller determines an increased data rate which is to be granted to said mobile station without causing excessive interference at said first cell and at least one adjacent cell and transmits a data burst assignment to a base station of said first cell indicating the increased data rate which has been granted to said mobile station. In another feature, the access controller processes a data burst request received from a mobile station involved in a soft handoff between multiple base stations and negotiates with those base stations for an increased data rate which may be granted to the requesting mobile station. One feature enables additional interactions to further refine the allocation process. A variety of system architectures are also described.