GSM operators in saturated markets may be able to milk more voice capacity out of their base stations some time next year via technology from Nokia Siemens Networks, which claims to have successfully completed four voice calls in a single time slot.
NSN said in January that it had completed a drive test for the Orthogonal Sub Channel (OSC), which 'doubles the voice capacity of a GSM radio network'. NSN said the test demonstrated that it was possible to carry calls from four different handsets on one radio time slot with no loss of quality via a software upgrade for the base station and BSC. The OSC technology works with existing GSM-based handsets.
NSN is touting it as a capex/opex-saver for cellcos, as expanded capacity means less base stations to buy and operate.
The software upgrade only works with NSN gear, but NSN says it is 'actively contributing in standardization on it' and plans to have OSC commercially available in 2010.