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On the Design Problem of Cellular Wireless Networks

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In this paper, we deal with the problem of how to design cellular networks in a cost-effective way. We first propose an optimization model that deals with selecting the location of the base station controllers (BSCs) and mobile service switching centers (MSCs), selecting their types, designing the network topology and selecting the link types. In order to find a “good” solution, we propose a tabu search algorithm. Numerical results show that the tabu search algorithm produces solutions close to a proposed lower bound.

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Author information

Correspondence to Steven Chamberland.

Additional information

Steven Chamberland received the Electrical Engineering degree from the École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1994 and the Ph.D. degree in Operations Research in 1998 also from the École Polytechnique. From 1998 to 1999, he was with the network architecture group of Bell Canada and from 1999 to 2001, he was a professor at the École de technologie supérieure. Since 2001, he has been an assistant professor of Computer Engineering at the École Polytechnique de Montréal. His research interests include telecommunication network planning and design and network architecture. Dr. Chamberland is a member of IEEE and ACM. E-mail:

Samuel Pierre received the B.Eng. degree in Civil Engineering in 1981 from the École Polytechnique de Montréal, the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in mathematics and computer science in 1984 and 1985, respectively, from the Université du Québec, the M.Sc. degree in economics in 1987 from the Université de Montréal and, the Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 1991 from the École Polytechnique de Montréal. He is currently a professor of Computer Engineering at the École Polytechnique de Montréal where he is Director of the Mobile Computing and Networking Research Laboratory and the NSERC/Ericsson Industrial Research Chair in Next- Generation Mobile Networking Systems.

Dr. Pierre is the author of four books, co-author of two books and six book chapters, as well as over 200 other technical publications including journal and proceedings papers. He received the Best Paper Award of the Ninth International Workshop in Expert Systems & their Applications (France, 1989), a Distinguished Paper Award from OPNETWORK’2003 (Washington, USA). One of these co-authored books, Télécommunications et transmission de données (Eyrolles, 1992), received special mention from Telecoms Magazine (France, 1994). His research interests include wireline and wireless networks, mobile computing, performance evaluation, artificial intelligence, and electronic learning. He is a Fellow of Engineering Institute of Canada, senior member of IEEE, a member of ACM and IEEE Communications Society. He is an Associate Editor of IEEE Communications Letters and IEEE Canadian Review. He also serves on the editorial board of Telematics and Informatics published by Elsevier Science. E-mail:

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Chamberland, S., Pierre, S. On the Design Problem of Cellular Wireless Networks. Wireless Netw 11, 489–496 (2005).

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  • cellular networks
  • topological design
  • BSC and MSC location
  • capacity planning
  • tabu search