A code division multiple access system provides a way of allocating an increased data rate to a requesting mobile station. A mobile station requesting a data rate in excess of the basic data rate sends received pilot strength data for its base station and base stations in adjacent cells. The received pilot strength data is used to determine an increased data rate to be assigned to the requesting mobile station. One feature assigns an increased data rate based on the difference in the maximum received received pilot strength data from a non-active base station (one not in connection with the mobile station) and the maximum received pilot strength data from an active base station (one in connection with the mobile station). Yet another feature utilizes a series of threshold levels, each pair of levels associated with a different permitted data rate. Using the received pilot strength data, a data rate is determined which satisfies all adjacent cell interference concerns. Another feature uses average adjacent cell capacity loads rather than threshold levels, together with the received pilot strength data, to determine the appropriate increased data rate to be assigned to a user requesting an increased data rate.