ALOHAnet was a pioneering computer networking system developed at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering under the leadership of Dr. Norman Abramson, Dr. Franklin Kuo, and a team of faculty and students. All wireless communications today – including mobile, satellite, cellular, and WiFi – utilize the ALOHA protocol to establish an initial link.
In June 1971, the ALOHA packet radio data network began providing inter-island access to computing facilities at UH. ALOHAnet was the first to demonstrate that communication channels could be effectively and efficiently shared on a large scale using simple random access protocols. It provided the first public demonstration of a wireless packet data network and led directly to the development of Ethernet and personal wireless communication technologies.
ALOHAnet, also known as the ALOHA system, introduced a number of firsts in the areas of communications protocols and computer networks: the use of packets in the ALOHA protocol; random access in the ALOHA protocol; shared medium access in the ALOHA network; and wireless computer communications (enabled by an experimental UHF frequency).
ALOHAnet in the News
How ALOHAnet Helped Hawaii Make Waves in Networking and IT Innovation
StateTech Magazine, June 2016
Looking Back on 40 Years of Ethernet
Telecom Review, July 2013
Entrepreneurial Capitalism and Innovation: A History of Computer Communications 1968-1988
Articles by Dr. Norman Abramson
The ALOHA System—Another alternative for computer communications (.pdf)
Fall Joint Computer Conference, 1970
Development of the ALOHAnet (.pdf)
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, March 1985
The ALOHAnet — Surfing for wireless data (.pdf)
IEEE Communications Magazine, December 2009
IEEE Dedication Ceremony
After a lengthy application and selection process, ALOHAnet was approved as an IEEE Milestone! A dedication ceremony, including the marker installation, was held on October 13, 2020 at Holmes Hall.
Sign/View our event guestbook
The ALOHAnet 50th Anniversary & Mini-Symposium took place at the College of Engineering on June 16, 2021 – 8:00am to 1:00pm HST.
Mahalo to our generous sponsors for making this symposium possible. Net proceeds generated from this event will fund a future scholarship in honor of ALOHAnet and its founder, the late Dr. Norm Abramson at the University of Hawai’i.
Celebrating the life of Norman Abramson, 1932-2020
UH News: In memoriam: Professor Emeritus, ALOHAnet co-founder Norman Abramson
New York Times: Norman Abramson, Pioneer Behind Wireless Networks, Dies at 88
San Francisco Chronicle: Norman Abramson, wireless pioneer, dies in S.F. at 88
The Verge: Norman Abramson, a father of modern wireless networks, dies at 88
India Today: Norman Abramson – Father of modern wireless networks, dies at 88
Oral History of Norman “Norm” Abramson
IEEE Xplore: In Memoriam: Norman Abramson