Even though I have an unlimited data plan I have always kept track of how much data I transferred to my device each month. Guess it’s just the hidden researcher in me. On my Tilt2 I used SPB Wireless Monitor to track data by service and app. While I don’t have that capability with my new WP7 device I can check usage on my phone when I need to. Just for general info, I only tethered for emergencies or to help out a friend with a broadband problem and I almost never use Wi-Fi because, well because I have unlimited data.

My anniversary date is the 25th of the month and I checked my usage for November (10/26 to 11/25) and discovered that I had consumed 1.346GB, a new record for me. Of that, 121MB was for my Tilt2 from 10/25 till 11/8, with the rest coming from my Surround. If I extrapolated that number out for the full 31 day cycle, I would have used a whopping 2.040GB. Now that’s probably an unrealistic number as I spent a bunch of time those first two weeks downloading at least 75 apps & games, setting up all of my services and generally playing from morning till night.

Now that I have settled down a little bit and have reached the mid-point for December I thought I would check the numbers again and I am at 731MB after 15 days, or 1.462GB extrapolated over a full month. Less than November’s projection but still another record for me. I added Zune Pass a couple weeks ago so even as my “new device” usage drops somewhat, it will be replaced by downloaded and streamed music, which I am liking quite a bit. The chart below breaks down my data usage over the past seven months:

So how has your WP7 experience been so far? More data, less? And if anyone is using the $15.00 / 200MB AT&T Data Plan, even with Wi-Fi to supplement, how are you coping. It looks like I could theoretically get away with a 2GB monthly plan, but I am not giving up “unlimited” any time soon.


  1. I’ve only been using WP7 for about a week, but so far my data rate doesn’t look any different from wm. I have the cheapskate plan (200 Mb), so I’m very conscientious about using WiFi for heavy loads. My data really only gets used for mail accounts, weather, news, and maps. I’m really hoping Copilot comes to WP7 soon to enable off-line nav.
    It’s definitely possible to keep the cheap plan if you’re willing to watch your intake and save the game download until you get home.

  2. @Eddie:
    Thanks for the information. I’m thinking about getting the Samsung Focus, but would be restricted to the 200mb data plan. I have heard its not really possible to go with that plan because of the tiles constantly updating. But I was thinking it really couldnt be that much. I thought a lot of these users must have Facebook enabled so the pics are constantly updating, and streaming music, etc. It’s good to hear your having some luck with the 200mb plan.

  3. Good to know that the 200MB plan is manageable. Not sure exactly where my increased data usage is coming from (no tool to evaluate individual feeds) but I don’t think its the Live Tiles. Here is a quick rundown:
    -People tile displays mini photos of contacts but that is info already on your device. I believe the Facebook info only updates after you open the People hub.
    -Phone, Messaging, Twitter (optional) & EMail Tiles work just like WM or any other device, showing the number of unread/unopened messages/calls, so that’s nothing new.
    -Weather – Your option to use this and on at least Weatherbug you can set the update frequency
    -Calendar/Contacts – I don’t know if there is a set schedule for these updating, but it may be linked to your email client (GMail, Hotmail). I believe mine updates with Hotmail, which I have set to push, but could also change to a timed frequency.
    -Zune – Nothing updates there (I don’t think so anyway) unless you click on something.
    -XBox Live – Avatar moves around but that’s internal. Updates each time you open the tile, but not sure how much data gets transferred. You need to open this tile to get to any game, even if its not associated with XBox.
    Pictures – No data transfer uinless you take a photo and have it set to upload automatically. But the hub does update, syncing Facebook, Windows Live & Skydrive photos when you goto picture folders.
    -Office – OneNote only updates/syncs w/Skydrive when you tap the sync button. Other Office files don’t auto update.
    -Me – Your Windows Live/Facebook Me tile only updates when yopu open it.
    -Marketplace – Displays the number of apps available for update, but does not actually download anything until you tap it.

    Unless a 3rd party app has a Live Tile enabled, nothing is updating in the background cause the app can’t run in the background. Think a good part of my data comes from reading RSS feeds. Using IMG News Reader primarially, it displays the news with images, so I probably download about 100 images per day. I click through a lot more stories with this phone, launching the IE shell. Also have been viewing videos when I get to the story, something I could never get to work on my Tilt2 without a hiccup.

  4. Its not the Live Tiles that runs up your data usage. I just checked my usage and i’ve used 366MB out of the 2GB plan I have. I am 23 days into my 30 day cycle. Of course I use Wi-fi a ton so no data is used while at home which i’m at for roughly 50% of the day.

    My main data hog is when I am in media programs like Flixster or Fandango and I watched a few trailers for movies and watched a few videos from YouTube while not on WiFi. Everything else has been really terrific.

    I now know that I will be in no danger at all of going over my 2GB plan even when I add the Zune Pass. I keep enough music on my phone to play my favorites and only use the Zune pass for those occassions I am looking for something particular or not physically on my phone at the time. Great setup.

    I should also note that I haven’t used any navigation as I refuse to pay for AT&Ts $10 per month navigation app. My Sprint Navigation was just as good and it was free.

  5. 14 days left and over 1 GB. I have unlimited, so I’m not worried. I think my main is web browsing, the AP app and accidentally updating apps when I think I’m on WiFi.

  6. my bill cycle was perfect for this. its 11-09 to 12-09 and i moved from an HTC aria to an HTC surround on 11-08. i was using on average 1.5 gigs with my HTC aria. and i was never connected to wifi (i was working underneath a 3g tower, and i still have an unlimited data plan.) ive moved work locations (like one week before the WP7 launch) and now im running an edge network with 3 bars (not very fast) so ive been connected to wifi at work. well my data usage just from being on wifi at work, and even with my live tiles and downloading the crap out of applications and general buffoonery on the phone ive only used 250 MB!! to be honest i use my phone more at home than i do at work, i also use maps once a week to deliver flyers to businesses and thats not done on wifi. i was floored when i looked at my data usage chart and saw 1.1, 1.5, 1.6, 1.6, and then .25… i dont think the people on the 2 gig plan have anything to worry about even if they dont connect to wifi.

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