Downlink traffic channel data rate options and methods of indicating to a wireless terminal a utilized downlink data rate option are described. The downlink traffic channel rate option for a segment is conveyed using an assignment signal and/or a block in the downlink traffic channel segment which is not used for user data. Downlink segment assignment signals in some implementations allocate fewer bits for rate option indication than are required to uniquely identify each option. In some implementations low rate options, e.g., using QPSK, are uniquely identified via assignment signals. Higher rate options, e.g., using QAM16 modulation, are conveyed via the distinct information block in the downlink traffic segment using a first coding/modulation method. Still higher rate options, e.g., using QAM16, QAM64, or QAM256, are conveyed via the information block in the segment using a second coding/modulation method which is applied to the rate option information.