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Mobile radio networks based on ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) technology, such as wireless ATM, are considered. More precisely, the topology of connections between the ATM nodes and the base stations is investigated, taking the limited capacity of ATM nodes into account. This requires the partitioning of cells, that is, the set of cells has to be subdivided into subsets so that base stations of cells belonging to the same subset are connected to the same ATM switch. Among the possible partitions, the optimum solution is that giving the minimum number of handovers requiring a change of ATM switch: in this case, a path rerouting procedure must be carried out, causing additional delays in executing the handover. The optimum partition could be found by exhaustively considering all possibilities once the handover rates between cells is known; however, this would lead to an incredible complexity for the planning of large networks. We define a general methodology based on the concept, of "handover rate" between cells, which allows the choice of the best partition by taking mobility, radio, and fixed network aspects into account. Moreover, some new low-complexity partitioning algorithms determining suboptimum solutions are proposed. Finally, we show that the suboptimum partition slightly depends on some radio interface choices, such as the handover algorithm, thus allowing separate design of the two aspects.