An improved acknowledgement (ACK) prioritization scheme is disclosed that provides ACKs with a lower block error rate (BLER) (as opposed to data) over an air interface, provides a separate radio bearer for ACKs, and successively increases the priority of ACKs for each retransmission required. A lower BLER target for ACKs may be achieved by an increase in transmit (Tx) power, additional coding for the radio bearer, or the use of diversity or hybrid automatic repeat request (ARQ) schemes. After packets are identified as either data or an ACK, they are sent to separate Tx buffers over separate radio bearers. Because the ACKs are transmitted over separate bearers and Tx buffers as compared to the data, ACKs are never queued behind the data, and are effectively prioritized as compared to the data. When retransmissions are required for an ACK packet, the scheduling prioritization is increased successively for each ACK retransmission required.
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