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, 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.

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 Ponder

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.