The best features of narrowband and wideband signaling are merged to provide a simple and reliable multiple-access network. This is done by transmitting the header of the packet using narrowband signaling coupled with an associated channel access protocol such as carrier-sense multiple-access. The data portion of the packet is then sent as a spread-spectrum signal with a spreading sequence that is common to all nodes in the network. The narrowband headers allow easy monitoring of channel loading and busy nodes while acting as a synchronization aid to the wideband signal. The multiple-access capability of spread-spectrum signaling increases channel throughput dramatically over a conventional narrowband-only system, and the anti-multipath feature allows increased data transmission rates on a multipath-prone channel. Common spreading sequences simplify transceiver design and allow packet broadcasting on the network.