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Power conservation and client waiting time reduction are two important aspects of data access efficiency in broadcast-based wireless communication systems. The intention of data access methods is to optimize client power consumption with the least possible overhead on client waiting time. We propose an adaptive data access method which builds on the strengths of indexing and hashing techniques. We show that this method exhibits better average performance over the well-known index tree-based access methods. A new performance model is also proposed. This model uses more realistic assessment criteria, based on the combination of access and tuning times, for evaluating wireless access methods. This new model provides a dynamic framework to express the degree of importance of access and tuning times in an application. Under this new model, the adaptive method performance also outperforms the other access methods in the majority of cases.