The asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) employs header-error control (HEC) to protect the ATM cell header from bit error and/or avoid the misforwarding of ATM cells. However, wireless ATM systems require a more powerful forward-error correction (FEC) scheme to offer acceptable bit-error rate (BER) performance. This paper proposes the utilization of FEC, which makes it possible to discard ATM cells more reliably. Timedivision multiple-access (TDMA) is very suitable for wireless ATM systems. In the TDMA scheme, synchronization is very important. This paper also proposes to combine FEC with unique word (UW) detection for improving TDMA synchronization characteristics.