The ability to design and optimize a wireless network is critical to equipment and networking service providers such as Lucent Technologies. To compete successfully, network designers must understand the tradeoffs between network coverage, capacity, and cost and be able to efficiently find a competitive design that prioritizes these different elements according to customer needs. In this paper, we develop and compare novel cell site selection algorithms that maximize network performance while minimizing cell count and associated costs. We discuss how these tradeoffs can be explored by tailoring algorithms to seek solutions that emphasize either capacity or coverage and balance these objectives with cost. We consider the algorithms' utility by applying the algorithms to a realistic example of a technology upgrade and network overlay, and we find that they enable an efficient exploration of the design tradeoffs. © 2005 Lucent Technologies Inc.