I live in Jersey City, 5 minutes from the Hudson River. If I get far enough away from the cell tower that's directly right behind me, towards the water, I get 1/2 a bar or none at all. I can't make a phone call, it's terrible.
For such a heavily populated area especially being so close to NYC one would think the service would be better. In Hoboken, the signal comes and goes from one block to the next, no kidding. I thought VZW was bad AT&T is worse. Sprint was only better but not by much.