I have lived in my current home for 7 years, and starting within the last year, service has degraded to the point where I occasionally get 1 bar, at best, in my home, or within 2 blocks of my house. I am not in a rural area, and the service used to be great. Several of my neighbors who also use Verizon, have the same complaint, and we all use different phones. I refuse to buy a network extender to correct a problem that didn't previously exist, and will consider switching if the problem isn't resolved.
I am just an informed citizen, and Ham Radio Operator. I have had so many problems with Verizon 4G in my 'remote' area of the Western Mojave, that I finally had to learn how 4g works. It is not easy or obvious or quick. I will skip to the bottom line for you. Verizon tried to sell me on a network extender, and I refused like you and for the same reasons. Now that I understand 4G, I believe the 'network extender' Verizon offers contains a cross polarized antenna, which is necessary for the best signal propagation. Your phones have minimal antennas. IMHO. For all of you who have 'poor signal' in 4G, you need better antennas. However you can do that. Even the damn Verizon techs don't understand how 4G works, let alone convey it to their customers. It is MIMO on 2-5Mhz frequencies. Wilson, et al, are still selling a single 3G antenna for 4G. Yes it works, but not optimum. How you hook a/2 cross polarized antennas to a cell phone/smart phone, I don't know. But the extenders they offer, contain better antennas, and then rebroadcast to your devices, IMHO. If any Verizon techs knew anything, they would tell you this IMHO. The Verizon 4G system is different, and in many ways better, than ATT's. Knowledge is the key to getting better coverage. Educate yourselves. Verizon won't do it. They have one 'white' paper online explaining 4G, but it is very technical and hard to understand. I learned about it from among others, a PHD inSo Africa. He did 4 Utube videos on 4G. As I type this, I keep getting pop ups saying 'stop correcting verizon' I don't know what that is all about. I feel sorry for anyone who has to deal with Verizon, the customer service people do their best, but most of them need education also. My advise is to learn the difference between 3G and 4G. Thanx Will Liebscher KB6TJE
I am seeing the same problem in Bakersfield. I went from 4G to 3G and now sometimes 1x. And Verizon's answer was a 3G Extender... Luckily my phone call make calls over wifi.