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The rapid growth of third generation (3G) telecommunications systems has created the need for getting new test equipment as well as getting measurement techniques up and running in a very short time. Trying to satisfy this exigency, a new measurement method for testing 3G transmitters is proposed here. Thanks to the use of time-frequency distributions, the method provides a unified approach for carrying out, automatically and in a very straightforward manner, most measurements needed to fulfill the aforementioned task. After a brief outline of 3G technology basics, some details concerning transmitter tests are given. The fundamental steps of the proposed method are then described with references to a clarifying example, also highlighting advantages with respect to other measurement solutions. At the end, the performance of the method is assessed by means of several experiments on both simulated and emulated signals.