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Buffalo, NY

Verizon User looking at Sprint in Buffalo/Western New York

I've been a Verizon customer for nearly 10 years and I guess I'm satisfied. I've never really been happy with the phone selection but its comparable with the other carriers I guess.

My two biggest issues with Verizon right now are basically about policy changes. First being the turnaround on treating my Galaxy Nexus as a proper Google phone. None of the updates Google Nexus users are used to and expect when paying full price for two on launch day. Fine I'm over it but the second I'm not. The change from an "unlimited plan" to a metered plan. With how busy our lives are and with increasing dependency on being connected the last thing I need to worry about is overages cutting into an already carefully balanced budget.

I'm a light user and admittedly almost never use more than a couple gigs a month so technically Verizons policy change probably wouldn't impact me much. But on occasion and most likely more going forward I'm afraid this would become more of a problem. I'm a construction worker who is always changing job sites and they seem to be getting further away from home at times. I use Navigation a lot, I text some , always monitoring weather, and more and more I do some surfing and checking of emails. I'm also finding the need to remote into my desktop office computer to check prints and other misc business needs.

I really don't want to count bytes ever. I also won't tolerate drastic changes in my budget due to the odd month of overages. I don't ever want to be limited period. Now I need some honest feedback on the service quality. Voice calling is important but we all know these days data coverage is just as important. I dont expect them to measure up to Verizons reliability but I'm hoping they are close.

This site is one of my go to daily sites for this kind of information and most members here seem to be very tech savy and well informed. Please if you could tell me how you use Sprint and how they are or are not living up to your expectations. This is not a thread for debating my needs, trolls looking to fanboy, or disgruntled users looking to spew their agendas. I'm looking for well thought out experiences of people like me who uses sprint all over the Western New York area. Thanks in advance to those mature users for helping me make what I hope to be a better decision.

I hate Verizon like you wouldn’t believe, with the passion of a thousand suns and then some, but last Thanksgiving I did the exact opposite, I went from being at 10 year Sprint (originally Nextel) subscriber to Verizon. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Sprint’s 3G speeds in Western NY are beyond horrendous! I’m talking dial up speeds or slower. I was a delivery driver for work, Mondays I was in Amherst/Williamsville, after about 7AM the 3G data was useless, Tuesdays I was in Downtown Buffalo and it was the same. Wednesdays and Fridays I was in the Rochester area, when I had wimax phones it was great, as Rochester has great Wimax coverage, Thursdays I was down in the Southern Tier where Sprint signal is nonexistent. But the good news, down in Gowanda, Perrysberg, Forestville, etc, where Sprint had no coverage and I was roaming on Verizon 1X network, I’d actually get faster speeds then being on Sprints own native network when I would get back to civilization. Pretty sad.

During work, I’d stream (or at least attempt to stream) Sirius XM or Pandora in my truck, and I had a hell of a time being able to travel 20-25 miles without a ton of dropouts while it had to rebuffer. For each of the past three years I had Sprints flagship phones, in 2010 I had the Evo, 2011 I had the Evo 3D and in 2012 the Evo LTE. It really, and I mean really sucked having that awesome phone with a 720p display and tons of features, but not being able to utilize those features because the network is so poor. If you use Google Nav a lot, if you’re in fringe areas, since phones use aGPS, you’ll have a hell of a time getting the correct data. When I first started delivering down in Chautauqua and Catt counties and needed the GPS, it sucked. First time I was down there, I was driving on RT39 in blizzard conditions not being able to see two feet in front of me, not knowing where I was, and the phone didn’t know where I was either. Fun times

I averaged 7-9 GB per month. When I switched to Verizon I got the Droid DNA and 10GB worth of data and have been good. In February I made a career switch, juggled a few part time jobs where I didn’t need data access so I dropped down to 8GB. Now I started an IT job that requires me to VPN into servers and workstations, so I may have to go back up to 10GB. The Verizon LTE network is beyond awesome.

Now for the good stuff, 4G. Sprint never officially launched their older Wimax 4G network in Buffalo. But there are towers along the 33 Expressway by ECMC and in the ghetto that have wimax, and there are many small pockets of wimax in the Southern Tier. Hornell, Olean, Wellsville, Salamanca and Bradford, PA all are unofficial wimax areas as well. Not that you or anyone would really care. It’s all about the LTE. Sprint has no LTE any of the major Upstate NY markets. From what I’ve seen, Network Vision is hitting the Buffalo market now. Work on towers in the area are beginning. From what I understand the initial rollout will be in East Aurora, I believe from what I read Dunkirk/Silver Creek will be upgraded early as well. It will be a while before the metro area gets it. Verizon just lit up LTE here on the Erie/Wyoming county boarder two months ago, I don’t expect to have Sprint LTE out my way for another two years. If you go to network.sprint.com you can see all the towers in the area that were upgraded in the past 6 months or will be upgraded in the next 6 months.

Can’t say I’ve had any voice issues. Inside of my house, voice sucks no matter who the providers is, but ignoring that, the only dropped calls I’ve had with Sprint was one specific area on Sheridan Dr just past the back entrance for the Eastern Hills Mall. It was like clockwork, every time was driving that stretch of road, the call would drop.

And just a word of warning. Until Network Vision is complete don’t expect to use Sprint data at all period at highly crowded events. Bills games, Sabres games, concerts at Darrien Lake, even around UB North when school is in session, just disable data on the phone and save the battery life, because you won’t be able to use it.
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Buffalo, NY
Thanks Steve form your time and effort. Doing my own research on Sprints performance over the last couple days pretty much confirmed what you've said.

Looks as though I'm going with plan B. Sticking with Verizon and keeping my unlimited data as long as I can by buying my next phone elsewhere at full price. Not a big deal since I partially prepared for it anyways.


Mulberry, FL
reply to FLATLINE
If your looking for coverage to be as good as Verizon - there really isn't much out there unfortunately. Verizon is good for both urban and rural. The only other one close is ATT and coverage is still not up to par. But...that also means you have to accept their policies and yeah like others, I'm not a fan of their policy changes as of late. Their turning into a "big evil" corporation that is only out to get as much of someone's money as they can without really giving much in exchange for it.