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Cellular digital packet data (CDPD) utilizes sleep mode mechanism to conserve the power of mobile end systems (M-ESs). A timer called T203 determines how quick an M-ES enters the sleep mode, and another timer called T204 determines how often the M-ES wakes up. A large T204 value and a small T203 value can effectively reduce the power consumption at the cost of degrading the frame transmission performance, i.e., more lost frames, longer frame waiting times, and larger waiting variance. When the power consumption budget is determined in a CDPD system design, our study provides guidelines to determine the timer values as well as the buffer size to optimize the frame transmission performance.