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We consider different transmission options on the reverse link of cellular systems for packet data. The different transmission options are classified based on the nature of in-cell and out-of-cell interference power statistics. The categories are: (a) no in-cell interference, averaged out-of cell interference; (b) no in-cell interference, bursty out-of-cell interference; and (c) averaged in-cell interference, averaged out-of-cell interference. Depending on whether the reverse link transmission is time multiplexed one user at a time transmission, or simultaneous transmission by multiple users with or without in-cell orthogonality, the interference structure falls into one of the above three categories. We analyze the throughput performance of the system in each of these cases when incremental redundancy is employed to combat uncertainty in the interference power. We compare the different options under an in-cell rise-over-thermal (IROT) constraint and provide some insights for reverse link design for next-generation cellular systems. Our results show that transmission option (a) with an optimal choice of the number of simultaneous transmissions within the cell has the best performance over several different scenarios. Time-multiplexed transmissions, despite the bursty out-of-cell interference power structure, has throughput comparable to that of a multiple-user orthogonal transmission system for small cells where mobiles have sufficient transmit power to meet the target IROT.