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This paper assesses the state-of-the-art in Quality-of-Service (QoS) adaptive wireless networks and proposes new adaptation techniques that better suit application specific needs. The contribution of the paper is as follows: we propose an adaptive service comprising (i) bandwidth utility functions, which capture the adaptive nature of mobile applications in terms of the range of bandwidth over which they prefer to operate; and (ii) adaptation scripts, which enable adaptive mobile applications to program the per-flow adaptation time scale and bandwidth granularity realizing application-specific adaptive services. To maintain adaptive services in wireless packet access networks, we propose a split level adaptation control framework that operates at the network and application levels. Network level control employs a periodic probing mechanism between mobile devices and network gateways in support of utility based max–min fair resource allocation. Application level control is managed by a set of distributed adaptation handlers that operate at mobile devices realizing application-specific adaptation strategies.