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A set of novel PHY-MAC mechanisms based on a cross layer dialogue have been proposed, and their performance has been analyzed. System efficiency improvement is achieved by means of automatic transmission rate adaptation, trading off bit rate for power, with resulting energy saving features in a generic packet-switched CDMA access network. The rate adaptation mechanism improves spectrum efficiency while keeping packet delay minimized. On the other hand, power dependent strategies reduce power consumption and intercell interference. Simulation results show that the benefits obtained are very encouraging, so the proposed schemes could be used in future communication systems.