Question: My cellular provider is Verizon and I use a Nokia phone that's about 2 years old. When I drive through certain areas around Los Angeles, I suddenly lose the signal. Why does this happen? Is there a difference between providers? Is digital better than analog?
Answer: When your cell phone loses its signal, it means your phone is unable to communicate with any nearby antennas. Most often, it means you have hit a "gap" in your carrier's coverage, although sometimes it means that the nearest antenna is too crowded with other users to handle your call.
Carriers try to design their networks so there are no "dead spots" between antennas, but coverage gaps are nonetheless commonplace.
A good way to find the best network for your needs is to ask neighbors, work colleagues and others who have a cell phone and who have similar traffic patterns.
That brings us to the digital-versus-analog question. To get the best mix of coverage, it's best to buy a dual-mode phone, which works on both digital and analog networks.