Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

Summary: There are some reports that Windows Phone 7 devices may be consuming lots of cellular data, but my personal experiences show that is not true across all carriers and devices.

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I read a couple of reports from Engadget and the BBC that some Windows Phone 7 devices seem to be consuming data at an extraordinary rate. I have been using Windows Phone 7 devices since last July and find this reported anomaly hasn't affected me with the HTC HD7 or Samsung test WP7 device.

I went and checked my T-Mobile account for data usage for the past several months. Even with my switching between a couple of devices (mainly the Nokia N8) for a few weeks here and there, the maximum amount of data I have consumed has only been 1.6 GB in a month. This is a very reasonable number considering that I use my phones a LOT during my daily two hour train commute and throughout the day, including downloading full songs and albums via the Zune Marketplace. My HTC HD7 was purchased on launch day on 8 November and I keep the WiFi radio on all the time so I can connect automatically to WiFi at home and 3G everywhere else.

The BBC reports that Microsoft is looking into these reports, but based on my long term experiences it appears that it is not a Windows Phone 7 issue and may be related to specific handsets and carriers. I think it is likely to be an application that is either preloaded by a manufacturer or carrier or else something that is commonly used by the people seeing this pattern. I have a TON of 3rd party applications loaded on my HD7. I even have an Exchange account and 2 other Gmail accounts connected through Exchange that are all setup for push email so I should be consuming the maximum amount of data possible as well.

BTW, I also have the send feedback setting enabled, including the ability to send this feedback via cellular data connection. The Find My Phone feature is also enabled, so again, I have the maximum data settings enabled on my HD7 and am NOT seeing extraordinary data consumption. I enabled the feedback to help Microsoft, but if you are concerned about battery life and data you should probably disable this setting.

I am not the only one seeing normal data usage as you can see on the Windows Phone Secrets website of fellow Wiley WP7 book publisher, Paul Thurott. As you can see Paul uses much less data than I do and while his chart shows he is using more than his previous iPhone on AT&T he was using his WP7 device heavily as he wrote his book.

Topics: Hardware, Microsoft, Mobility, Networking, Operating Systems, Software, Wi-Fi, Windows

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16 comments
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  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    2 hour train commute?! wow! move to the south, life is too shore to spend it sitting down in a train.
    Hasam1991
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    Makes sense, MS makes PC bug filled, hoggish OS and Apps, thus the Cell phone will be just as wasteful, bloated, and lame.
    james347
    • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

      @james347

      Who are you agreeing with? Matt is saying this is not likely MS's fault.
      GetEdumated
    • too bad you never make sense james

      My guess? Your drug filled brain can't comprehend the stuff being talked about so your posts are just wasteful, bloated, and lame, so not much else you can do but troll.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
    • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

      @james347

      Or you could actually read what the author wrote...

      Nah, you just go on sounding like a child. I don't mind, honestly.
      Badgered
    • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

      @james347 your super ignorant
      Jimster480
      • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

        @Jimster480 Jimster, you should be careful when calling someone ignorant. It's "you're" (you are - shortened) not "your".
        However I blame the carrier. I have a (non windows7) phone that is packed full of pre-installed dross from the carrier. Who knows what its traffic actually is?

        I blame the carrier.
        I am Gorby
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    When I heard about this I assumed it has to be a rogue app. I've noticed some apps ask if they can be used while the screen is locked. I'm wondering if that's the case with maybe a few apps in the market. I've always select no, and I've never had this issue. Could still be completely unrelated though. Hope it's fixed soon though.
    Darkninja962
    • I wouldn't be surprised if it's carrier related

      @Darkninja962@...
      to secretly "up" their data usage, making more money.
      AllKnowingAllSeeing
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    I use about 40mb per month on my Samsung Focus and I have relatively standard data settings, though Feedback is set to only use wifi. I use IE and other internet necessary apps (with live tiles) a lot but I'm nearly always connected to wifi so I'm not sure the theory that the phones still use 3G while connected to wifi are going to lead anywhere.
    GetEdumated
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that it's not the OS. Users in couple of the forums linked to in the Engadget article seem to have narrowed the 2MB per hour issue down to fetching IMAP data from services that don't support push (Yahoo, for example). The phone seems to pull down quite a bit of data each time it does a fetch, even if there is no new mail.

    Personally, I think there might be an issue where it takes 10-15 seconds for the phone to latch onto a wifi network when it gets unlocked (it disconnects from wifi while on standby, which the iPhone does as well). If an app is started before the wifi connection is reestablished, it appears to use 3G for data until the app is closed, even if wifi is connected while the app is in use. I've seen a couple of spikes in my data usage that may suggest this, but it's from from conclusive.

    WP7 also is not happy when 3G data is turned off. Rather than using the wifi connection to fetch mail, when I tap the sync button, it often complains that 3G is not available and mail cannot be sync'd. This may or may not be an issue (or can be related to my issue above), but it shows the phone has a pretty strong preference for 3G.

    In any event, I think at least one of these is a legitimate issue, one that is legitimate enough to warrant some further investigation.
    slacker123
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    Oops double post.
    slacker123
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    I believe the wifi turning off when the screen times out could explain most complaints. If I make a large game or app download, it can run long enough to continue after the screen shuts off and switches to the data connection. Users would only have to turn the power management feature off when doing large downloads to fix this though.
    Socratesfoot
  • Still waiting to see how gets the black eye here

    Well, if it turns out to be an AT&T-installed app that's eating the data, let's see how the peasants react to that one! I smell refunds and/or class action lawsuit(s).

    Imagine, AT&T lowers the data caps and then installs an app that pushes people over those limits. Oh, bad press....
    bmgoodman
  • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

    I have 2 Samsung Focus phones, both get about the same type of usage. One of them is having this issue while the other is not. I've gone through the settings to manual fetch email but am still having overage issues. One source pinned Yahoo mail, but there is no Yahoo mail on this phone. I've looked into as much as I could on the phone yet can't find the issue. The same user never hit 60% on her iPhone in over a year, but now is tapping close or going over the 2mb data plan. This is a real issue, but who is to blame is a mystery as of now.
    @...
    • RE: Are Windows Phone 7 high data usage reports carrier and device specific?

      @@B@

      Btw, AT&T doesn't seem to have informed all of their "tech" people about this issue. The girl I got this morning was nice but was talking about something completely different than. I was....while nice she made me want to pull out my hair, she wouldn't listen.
      @...