New unlocked phone, phone calls only sometimes work (location dependent)

I have a new, unlocked Samsung Galaxy S3 that I just received today. I have used unlocked phones with my Consumer Cellular plan a few times and did things as usual - put the SIM card in, called Consumer Cellular so they could do things on their end. But the S3 will not make or receive calls from within a mile (or more, not sure) of my house. I tried it inside my house, then went outside knowing I get bad signal in my house, then drove down the luck. Then I went about 20 miles away earlier tonight and it started working! I could make calls. On the way home, within a mile of my house, I couldn't make calls again.

Consumer Cellular said maybe an AT&T tower is down near me - makes sense. So I put the SIM card back in my old phone. It can make calls no problem! What else could it be? Is there something special about the S3 that I just don't know?

Thanks for any help

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