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A microstrip taper-fed compact printed monopole antenna that is suitable for mobile handset applications is presented. By embedding two narrow slits into the rectangular-shaped radiating patch, a triple-band operation that covers the applications such as GSM, DCS, and WLAN 2.4 GHz are realized within a 3:1 VSWR. To expand the bandwidth of the GSM band and to induce the PCS band to support quad-band applications without affecting the compactness of the proposed antenna, a novel method of loading a narrow back parasitic strip around the perimeter of the radiating patch is introduced. A prototype of the proposed antenna was successfully implemented, and good radiation performance is observed in all desired bands.