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    Why is my phone "Searching..." constantly?

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      I purchased an iPhone 5 on pre-order day, and have had it now for a few weeks.  A few days ago, I noticed my service flicker from "Searching..." to "No Service" to "Verizon LTE".  I didn't think much of it, but in a few moments, it happened again.  And again.  And again.  Finally, my service went from 5 bars to 0, then "Searching...".  I left the phone alone for a while thinking there was maintenance being done on a tower, however, over the course of a few hours, I was still getting the "Searching..." message.  I've tried popping out the SIM card and re-seating it, I've tried resetting network settings, power cycling, hard rebooting (home and wake/sleep together until it resets)...  I have noticed however, that when I pop the SIM card out now, I don't get a "No SIM" message.  I just get a "Searching..." message.

       

      I managed to get service back after a few hours of wondering, and a restore from backup (which was a fight in itself).  However, my phone has once again fallen silent, even though it was working perfectly fine yesterday.

       

      Did I do something?  I've only dropped my phone once, and it was onto a carpeted surface from about knee high, so I highly doubt that was the cause.  Is it a SIM card problem?  I know it's not a service problem as my wife's phone (iPhone 5 on the same plan) is working flawlessly (and she's dropped hers a few times already).

       

      Did I just get a defective model?  This is extremely frustrating, and my work requires that I have a phone, so the faster this can be answered, the better!!

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