An efficient use of communication resources is provided by determining a behavior for selecting the payload size (data rate) of a reverse link transmission from a mobile station to a base station. The mobile station may store a predetermined table including the ratio of the power levels of the traffic channel and pilot channel (TPR), where each entry corresponds to one or more specific sizes of data payload, and consequently a data rate for transmission in a predetermined time frame. The payload size is selected based on an authorized-TPR. The authorized-TPR and a target-TPR are adjusted in accordance with a value of common TPR commands received from the base station. A fast-ramp-up behavior for adjustments of the authorized-TPR is followed when the authorized-TPR is less than the target-TPR. The down TPR commands are ignored in the adjustments of the authorized-TPR to allow following a fast-ramp-up behavior.