A wireless packet data communications system that includes a number of modem pool transceivers (MPTs), one or more modem pool controllers (MPCs), and one or more servers. Each MPT receives and processes data packets to generate a modulated signal (e.g., a CDMA spread spectrum signal) suitable for transmission over a terrestrial communications link. Each MPC provides call related processing for one or more MPTs. The servers couple to the MPTs and MPCs via an Internet Protocol (IP) back-bone and provide management of the communications system. The IP back-bone further interconnects the MPTs with one or more data networks and includes a number of routers that route data packets between the data networks and the MPTs. Each MPT can couple to two or more routers for redundancy. Each MPT is operated as an element in an IP network and is associated with an IP address that identifies the MPT. One to three MPTs can be deployed at each cell site to provide wireless data service coverage for up to three sectors at the cell site. The MPCs can either be centralized and coupled to the MPTs via the IP back-bone or distributed about the communications system.