I have lived in NYC all my life and had a cell for the last 10 years. BOTTOM LINE.... you have to go with Verizon if you are concerned with total coverage. There is literally no place I have gone, especailly in NYC where I wasn't covered. The other providers are definately good for big cities too, but if you travel, especially to small towns like I do, verizon is the only way to go. Sprint, Nextel have the smallest coverage areas. Cingular and Voicestream have all of the GSM nationwide but that still is not that expansive. Go with Verizon.