A method and apparatus for maximizing the use of available capacity in a communication system having a base station and a plurality of mobile stations. The forward link in the mobile radio system includes a plurality of traffic streams sent on at least one channel from the base station to the mobile stations. The forward link is subject to a maximum power ceiling. A first output power level associated with simultaneously transmitting a first set of one or more traffic streams from the base station to the mobile stations on the forward link is initially determined. Next, the first output power level is compared to the maximum power ceiling. In response to the comparing step, at least one time frame in the forward link having available capacity for transmitting a portion of at least one further traffic stream is identified. The first set of traffic streams and the portion of the at least one further traffic stream are then transmitted simultaneously during the at least one frame on the forward link.