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This paper proposes a comprehensive and systematic characterization methodology that is suitable for the forward and reverse behavior modeling of wireless transmitters (Txs) driven by wideband-modulated signals. This characterization approach can be implemented in adaptive radio systems since it does not require particular signal or training sequences. The importance of the nature of the driving signal and its average power on the behavior of radio-frequency Txs are experimentally investigated. Critical issues related to the proposed characterization approach are analytically studied. This includes a new delay-estimation method that achieves good accuracy with low computational complexity. In addition, the receiver linear calibration and its noise budget are investigated. To demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the proposed method, a full characterization (including the memoryless nonlinearity and the memory effects) of a 100-W Tx driven by a multicarrier wideband code-division multiple-access signal is carried out, and its forward and reverse models are identified. Cascading the identified reverse model derived using the proposed methodology and the Tx prototype leads to excellent compensation of the static nonlinearities and the memory effects exhibited by the latter. Critical issues in implementing this approach are also discussed.