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The paper analyzes the issues that pertain to the soft capacity of mobile multimedia CDMA networks and affect network planning and radio resource management. To do this, the paper presents analytically the factors affecting the RF carrier loading in both forward and reverse links. This analysis demonstrates how coverage and capacity of a multimedia CDMA system are intertwined and depend on parameters such as the service characteristics, the propagation channel conditions, the transmitted power limits and the generated interference. Graphical results show the effect of various parameters on carrier loading and illustrate the resulting 'cell breathing', drawing some very interesting conclusions concerning the design and dimensioning of 3G mobile multimedia W-CDMA systems.