For portable, civil or military, communication systems, the characterization of the radiated field poses specific problems. First of all, due to its poor directivity, the radiated field has to be determined over a full sphere surrounding the test antenna. Secondly, the user has an evident but rather random effect on the radiating properties, and the knowledge of such effects is required to perform reliable predictions of the radiated field. Finally, due to their small volume, the measurement process can be seriously perturbed by the cable(s) used to feed the portable system. This paper presents a Near- Field (NF) approach which offers a convenient solution for the two first aspects. The third one has been solved by using an optical link to feed the portable equipment under test. The performances of this optical link have been assessed by comparison to standard RF coaxial feeding and to numerical results predicted from a computer code. The NF approach has allowed to investigate the effects of the user on the Far-Field (FF) radiation pattern of his telephone, both in co- and cross- polarization. Preliminary assessments, conducted in the Socrate spherical NF facility of the Centre d'Etudes de Gramat (CEG), have demonstrated the flexibility and the accuracy of the NF approach.