I do not pay attention to the number of bars. Go into settings and see what your signal strength is. -95dBm or higher, (or would that be lower) is where you may drop a call or have a slow data connection, -70dBm up to -90dBm you are fine.
Where I used to live my signal was -101dBm. Data was painfully slow but calls were fine.
I remember when Apple had their antenna issue, they initially sent out an update that just changed the number of bars shown with a poor signal.
Ugh..... mine ranges from -94 dBm to -101. The asu from 1 to 8. No problem with data (mainly use wifi). Dropped call now and then. Maybe 1-2 a week do make a lot of calls.
No, it doesn't. The SIM card holds the story of your phone (telephone number, serial number, etc.) and your Verizon account information (account number, etc.). It's the "radio" in your cell phone that determines signal strength.
Also (as I learned on this forum soon after I got my first 4G phone) the number of bars only indicates voice signal strength, no data. 4G or 3G only show up as on or off. (3G does have that lovely little D under it sometimes, which I believe stands for Dysfunctional, or Dropped, or Defunct, or Dead, or something).
budone's suggestion may give you more actual information.
PRL is Preferred Roaming List. I don't know what MIP stands for either.
I'm most definitely NOT a VZW employee. If a post answered your question, please mark it as the answer.