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what you mean by design a GSM network? are you going to design a whould GSM network or only its PHY and MAC layer due to its standard? I think NS-2 have already some pacage for that. using OPNET is cool but this software is very expensive.
The OPNET ITGURU Edition is free for academic use.
you can download it freely from opnet website: www.opnet.com.
Also, other full versions of Opnet may be available for academic researchs, you can apply a requset from opnet university program section...