Skip to Main Content
Radio communication is considered as a method for providing remote terminal access to computers. Digital byte streams from each terminal are partitioned into packets (blocks) and transmitted in a burst mode over a shared radio channel. When many terminals operate in this fashion, transmissions may conflict with and destroy each other. A means for controlling this is for the terminal to sense the presence of other transmissions; this leads to a new method for multiplexing in a packet radio environment: carrier sense multiple access (CSMA). Two protocols are described for CSMA and their throughput-delay characteristics are given. These results show the large advantage CSMA provides as compared to the random ALOHA access modes.