I have a Note II, and my wife has a SGS-3 (both T-MO) and she has the same zero bars as I do, so it is network related and not phone.
I have seen from time to time that I will either have zero bars, or have a good signal (3-5 bars) but no data, even though I am close to a cell tower (like within half a mile or so). What's more, I have seen where people on other networks in those same places may have full signal & data (I'm on T-Mobile). Now, to be fair, I have seen it go the other way around where I was the only one with signal/data. But my question is, is there anything I can do when I am in an area like that? Is there a setting I can change on my phone to allow/force it to use the tower? By the way, I'm not talking about some rural, obscure area. I am talking about I-64 between Richmond and Norfolk, as well as parts of I-95 between RIchmond and DC.