Galaxy S4 still dropping data connection, except when I am outside my "normal" area of service

A few weeks back I reported that my Galaxy S4 likes to inexplicably drop its data connection. The 1X/3G/4G icon is displayed, but it is "grayed out" and flashes white every 5-30 seconds. I have to reboot the phone to recover the connection, sometimes several times a day.

I have restarted the phone countless times. I have had the SIM card replaced. I have taken the battery out for several minutes. I have cleared the cache partition multiple times. I have performed a factory reset twice. I have booted to safe mode and let it run for several hours. None of these have cured the problem.

At this point, everyone has thrown up their hands and said, "You're gonna have to buy a new phone." I refuse to believe that is the ONLY resolution here, as that means spending $500-$600 that I don't have. Yes, I know I can make payments. NO, I am not going to make payments. Also, NO I don't want a used phone where I get someone else's problems, or worse, someone else's stolen phone.

From Thursday through Sunday, I was in a different service area from where I normally live and work. There was an excellent 4G signal and the phone worked flawlessly.

As soon as I got home, WHAMMO, it "falls off" the data network.

At home and at work, the phone is constantly shifting from no data to 1X to 3G to 4G and back. It seems like the phone can only shift so many times before it "gives up" and drops off the data network.

There has to be a solution other than "buy a new phone."

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