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How's your data consumption since going to WP7?

Windows Phone is just over a month old and most, if not everyone, has completed their first billing cycle with the new phones. Have you checked your data usage to see how Windows Phone 7 compares to the previous months?

Are you seeing a considerable jump in data usage?  We knew that Windows Phone 7 was more data dependent than Windows Mobile. You've got Live Tiles, support for multiple email accounts, Zune Marketplace and Xbox Live all of which can consume a heck of a lot of data.  My guess most have seen a spike in data usage since going to Windows Phone 7.

The increase in data usage may settle down but my guess, with all the capabilities of Windows Phone 7 it will level off but remain higher than Windows Mobile data use was.  Which poses the question, with tiered data plans slowly replacing the older unlimited plans, is two gigabytes enough?

We took a look at our data usage since moving to Windows Phone 7. Follow the break to see if we were able to stay under the 2GB threshold.

I knew I was using more data with Windows Phone 7. From pulling email from various sources to downloading apps from the Marketplace, I'm relying more on data than ever before. Here is my data usage over the past six months with November reflecting the transition to Windows Phone 7.

The spike in data could be attributed to streaming a movie with Netflix but I also have four Live Tiles and have downloaded a hefty amount of apps from the Marketplace. 

Tim's data usage over the past six months is similar. We don't count June because Tim was streaming World Cup Soccer coverage. But from October to November, when he went to Windows Phone 7, he saw a similar spike in data as well.

Dan also used 1.2Gb of data during November, up considerably since going to Windows Phone 7, but contributes some of the increase to streaming video podcasts. 

All three of us stayed within the 2GB ceiling with room to spare. And this falls in line with what most should be able to get from 2GB of data. According to AT&T data chart (opens in new tab), 2GB offers subscribers a lot from 10,000 emails to 200 minutes of streaming video.  If you'r curious how much data your needs could generate, AT&T also offers a Data Usage Calculator (opens in new tab).

Granted, data usage is dependent on individual use patterns. In my work with reviewing apps, I no longer have the ability to install a .cab file for applications and have to rely on downloading the apps from the Marketplace.  You have streaming radio services such as Slacker that perform extremely well on Windows Phone 7 and will increase your data usage. 

With the ability to pull from multiple servers, email will be used more and then you have XBox Live becoming more integrated with Windows Phones, gamers will see a bit more data used than before.  The more capable our Windows Phones become, it's clear the more data will be used.

So, what's your data usage look like since moving to Windows Phone 7? If you're on a tiered data plan, is your current plan enough or have you bumped it up a step?

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

10 Comments
  • I'm coming from a iPhone 4, so I was constantly over 2G a month. But finally stop being cheap and bough a wireless router for the house, so everything I do now is over wifi. I stopped keeping track.
  • Just curious, but are you using no wireless functionality at all? I've streamed a couple of movies through Netflix, have many live tiles (4 or 5) and am syncing two email accounts. My data usage has only increased 100MB from previous months, topping out at 260MB. While Windows Phone 7 is very data driven, you should have WiFi available in most locations you are at (work, home, shopping, etc.)
  • I got an email from AT&T last week that, with two weeks to go, I had used over 60% of my 2Gb. I am sure that it is because I was streaming radio through my Surround. Haven't done that since and have switched to WiFi while I am in the house/office. But, it is a pain in the butt to have to turn on cellular when I leave or if I want to send an MMS. We need some profile control here!
  • I dont think you have to turn off cellular. I never turn mine of but keep the wifi on and stayed under 200 MBs, thinking about dropping down from the 2GB plan after my road trip.
  • I have a Focus coming from a Tilt2. On the Tilt2 (and previous WinMo phones) I was careful to keep WiFi off when not heavily using internet, BT off, etc. With the Focus I keep just keep WiFi, 3G, and BT on all the time and I am getting noticeably better battery life. And that battery life is with heavier usage of the Focus than the Tilt2.
  • In our first month my wife and I hit a combined total of 380 MB pulled through TMo. I expect the total to go down now that we've got a fair number of shiny new apps installed. We didn't have data before, so the 380 MB is a huge jump for us. ;)
  • I used 80mb of my 200mb plan because I used wifi even when I was out and about and I was able to connect to wifi but realized I couldnt receive pics for my business on wifi so I switched to tmobile/dell venue pro.
  • I had a Samsung Jack on AT&T. Averaged about 100MB per month. Got a Focus on the USA release date. Over the past 30 days, I've had almost 600 MB. Use WiFi at work and at the office, so Zune downloads are not going to be reflected for the most part. I've got a grandfathered (i.e. real) unlimited data plan, so I need to step it up and get my money's worth!
  • I have att. I checked on first night after getting phone and spending all day at home. 9 Mb. I have WiFi. It just doesn't always get used! I had to get the cell switch and babysit the phone to make sure it doesn't use data. If you preview songs on Zune it doesn't work on wifi Gives error. Turn on cell data, works like charm. Wtf. I'm sure there are other random leaks.
  • Lol why doesn't rich txt editor work on WP?