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A technique for using a receive signal strength indicator to measure the total isotropic sensitivity of a wireless handset is proposed in this paper. This technique separates the measurements of the mobile station radiated sensitivity and its receive antenna gain. A single measurement of the mobile station radiated sensitivity is performed while the mobile station antenna gain is obtained through the receive signal strength indicator. Hence, a significant reduction in measurement time can be achieved. The fundamental theory for the method is described. Techniques for reducing the ±2 dB error in the receive signal strength indicator reporting system and the improvement of the measurement resolution are developed. Overall, this technique can reduce measurement time by a significant factor and also improve measurement accuracy over the conventional measurement approach.