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Guard channels have been proposed to minimize handoff call dropping when mobile hosts move from one cell to another. Code-division multiple-access (CDMA) systems are power- and interference-limited. Therefore, guard capacity in CDMA networks is soft, that is, a given capacity corresponds to variable number of connections. Thus, it is essential to adjust the guard capacity in response to changes in traffic conditions and user mobility. We propose two schemes for managing downlink CDMA radio resources: guard capacity adaptation based on dropping (GAD), and guard capacity adaptation based on prediction and dropping (GAPD). In both schemes, the guard capacity of a cell is dynamically adjusted so as to maintain the handoff dropping rate at a target level. In the second scheme, there is an additional, frequent adjustment component where guard capacity is adjusted based on soft handoff prediction. We show through extensive simulations that GAD and GAPD control the handoff dropping rate effectively under varying traffic conditions and system parameters. We also find that GAPD is more robust than GAD to temporal traffic variations and changes in control parameters.