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One of the first decisions that a radio network designer must take is the location of base stations and the distance between them in order to give the best coverage to a region and, possibly, to reduce deployment costs. In this paper, the authors give an insight to this matter by presenting a possible solution to a real problem: Planning the base stations layout for a universal mobile telecommunications system (UMTS) in the city of Barcelona. At the basis of this problem, there is the interdependence between coverage and capacity in a wideband-code division multiple access (W-CDMA) system, which is a new element in the planning of BS layout for mobile communications. This aspect has been first treated with an analytical study of the cell coverage range for a specific environment and service. The achieved results have been checked with the help of snapshot simulations together with a geographical information system (GIS) tool incorporated in the simulator that allows to perform analysis and to visualize results in a useful way. By using the simulator, it is also possible to study a more complex environment, that of a set of base stations providing multiple services to a large number of users.