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Measurements of impulsive noise in the universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) electromagnetic environment in urban areas have been conducted and its effect on the UMTS system is analyzed. An impulsive noise-measurement system for the UMTS frequency band has been designed and built, which meets and improves the main features of classical equipments used to measure noise, offering inphase and quadrature outputs simultaneously. This measurement system was carefully calibrated before a measurement campaign was conducted in an urban environment to get impulsive noise statistics. Results show that noise pulses may have high power, long duration, and high repetition rate, so the performance of UMTS could be significantly reduced.