In one embodiment, the present invention is a method for performing incremental preamble detection in a wireless communication network. The method processes non-overlapping chunks of incoming antenna data, where each chunk is smaller than the preamble length, to detect the signature of the transmitted preamble. For each chunk processed, chips of the chunk are correlated with possible signatures employed by the wireless network to update a set of correlation profiles, each profile comprising a plurality of profile values. Further, an intermediate detection is performed by comparing the updated profile values to an intermediate threshold that is also updated for each chunk. Upon receiving the final chunk, the correlation profiles are updated, and a final preamble detection is made by comparing the updated profile values to a final threshold. Detections are performed on an incremental basis to meet latency requirements of the wireless network.