CDMA and WCDMA mobile phone networks depend on a network of antennae, each defining a geographic 'cell' that handles the transmissions to and from users' handsets within that cell. These antennae have adjustable settings whose values have a large effect on both quality of service (and consequent subscriptions) and resource consumption. We consider the optimisation of these parameters, and describe experiments that compare a range of optimisation algorithms with the methods currently used in the field for this purpose. The aim of the current project was to achieve faster (necessary) and better (if possible) results than the existing methods used by field engineers. We find that certain evolutionary algorithm configurations achieve both of these requirements on test problems arising from real data from a high-traffic urban environment. To some extent the ideal algorithm depends on the size and load in the network being optimised, and this is the main topic of ongoing research. © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006.