A Medium Access (MAC) Protocol is utilized for wireless access, preferrably over a radio frequency channel, for a plurality of remote stations to a base station on a LAN. The MAC protocol is based on a reservation scheme for user data traffic and a random access technique for control and signalling traffic. There is a time division frame structure in which time is slotted. Time slots are grouped into variable length periods. The variable frame structure consists of a frame header followed by interleaved periods of different types (type A, B or C). Type A periods are allocated to the outbound channel which is used for data transfer from the base station to the remote stations. Type B periods, are allocated to the inbound channel that is used for contention-free data transfer from the remote stations to the base station. Allocation of the data slots in the A and B periods is performed by the base station. Type C periods are reserved to the control channel used for transmission of reservation requests and data from the remote stations to the base station in a random-access contention mode using a slotted Aloha protocol. The duration and sequence of periods may be varied by using a technique for interleaving periods of different types. The base station estimates the number of actively transmitting remote stations utilizing feedback information from the remote stations. This estimate is broadcast to the remote stations as control indicia to control their transmission attempts in C slots, thus yielding high transmission efficiency.