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An expanded effort is underway to support the evolution of the UMTS and cdma2000-1x standards to meet the rapidly developing needs associated with wireless Internet applications. A number of performance enhancing technologies are proposed to ensure high peak and average packet data rates while supporting circuit-switched voice and packet data on the same spectrum. These techniques include adaptive modulation and coding (AMC), hybrid ARQ (H-ARQ) and fat-pipe scheduling. In order to enable these techniques downlink channel quality feedback (CQF) through explicit uplink signaling is necessary. Frequent CQF results in good estimates of downlink channel quality at the base station, which, in turn, improves downlink system performance. However, this comes at the expense of larger uplink signaling overhead, thereby impacting the overall uplink capacity. Infrequent CQF, on the other hand, reduces this signaling overhead in the uplink at the expense of larger errors in the channel quality estimates available at the base station, thereby leading to system performance degradation. In this paper, we present a variable rate CQF scheme that significantly reduces uplink signaling overhead without affecting downlink system performance. In addition to simulation results demonstrating the performance of the proposed scheme, we also compare the reduction in uplink signaling overhead of the said scheme with other known methods.