Abstract The outage probability is a key performance measure for real-time traffic in wireless networks, often considered as even more critical than the blocking probability. The blocking and outage probabilities do not have closed-form expressions as they depend in a too complex way on the traffic characteristics (call duration, bit rate requirement), the radio conditions (fading, shadowing, noise, interference) and the considered admission and outage policies. We derive upper bounds for the blocking and outage probabilities for general traffic characteristics and radio conditions under the mild assumption that the admission and outage policies satisfy a certain monotonicity property. These conservative estimates may depend on call characteristics like the bit rate requirement and the trajectory of the mobile. The results are applied to the uplink and the downlink of CDMA networks.