Data Usage

The latest Nielsen report on cell phone indicates that data usage is up. In the U.S. smartphone data usage is up 89% compared to last year and the average Windows Phone user has doubled their data usage over the past two quarters.

From the November launch (4th Quarter 2010) to the end of the first quarter 2011 (March 2011) data usage climbed from 149mb to 317mb. 

And Windows Phone users aren't alone.  The report shows that all the major smartphone systems are experiencing a steady climb with respect to data usage. Except one, Windows Mobile that is steadily declining (no surprise there).  On the plus side, the Nielson report indicates that the average smartphone user pays almost 50% less per megabyte of data from last year. The price per data unit has dropped from 14 cents per mb to 8 cents.

It's no secret that Windows Phones are more data dependent. From updating Facebook statuses of contacts to downloading apps to uploading scores to leader boards to checking your email, there are very few aspects of the Windows Phones that don't tap into some form of data.

But is this an increase or Windows Phone users hitting a plateau? Or is it the end result of more apps hitting the Marketplace increasing the phone's capabilities? In looking at my data usage since November 2010, asides from two spikes, my data usage has remained fairly consistent (300-400mb per month).

What's your data usage look like? Has your usage doubled since Windows Phone 7 launched?

Source: nielsonwire via: wpsauce

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Help Extend WP7 battery life [How To]

Smartphones have always had the label of "battery eaters" when compared to a regular mobile phone. A good number of years back, a Nokia 3210 would last for an entire year (although we still believe they were secretly powered by miniature nuclear reactors). Windows Phone 7 is not exempt from this battery life issue for majority of owners, but there are ways to tackle the problem and preserve some battery - at the loss of some functionality.

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We've mentioned the issues concerning abnormal amounts of data being used by Windows Phone 7 devices before. Microsoft has investigated the problem and has come to the conclusion that third party solution is the cause.

In a statement to seattlepi.com, a Microsoft spokesperson reported,

"We have determined that a third-party solution commonly accessed from Windows Phones is configured in a manner that potentially cause larger than expected data downloads. We are in contact with the third party to assist them in making the necessary fixes, and are also pursuing potential workarounds to address the configuration issue in case those are needed. At this point in our investigation, we believe this is responsible for most of the reported incidents."

No comment as to whom or what the third party solution is. It could be an application or a feature/module of WP7 developed by a third party. Early thoughts pointed to the Feedback feature of Windows Phone 7 and it still could be the likely culprit.

Microsoft did state that they would continue to investigate this issue and will offer any guidance and updates as things become available.

Source: seattlepi.com

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According to Thurrott's WinSuperSite, Windows Phone 7 may be sending large chunks of 3G data behind our backs, data that is not easily explained by any apps and regardless of WiFi availability. This is actually the first we've heard of this issue, but Thurrott claims this is "widely reported" so we're not sure what to make of it.

According to one reader who wrote into WinSuperSite:

I went and looked at my AT&T account online and noticed that my phone was sending huge chunks of data seemingly in patterns. For instance on November 21-24 it sent between 30 and 50 MB of data at 10:41pm each day and Dec 1-4 it sent between 30 and 50 MB of data at 9:41am each day. On December 23rd I turned on airplane mode so my phone could no longer send data. I turned airplane mode off briefly on December 23rd and the phone sent 400 MB of data.

Curious. Personaly speaking, I have a lot of 3rd party apps installed--66 to be exact--and when I just checked my AT&T data usage, I'm below 700MB with 5 days left on my bill-cycle. Translation: I'm certainly not having this problem. Granted, I don't use Facebook nor have my pictures backed up to SkyDrive, so those two may be the culprit. [Update: And yes, I have my "send feedback" enabled for Microsoft, so that's not it either]

But enough jibber-jabbing, any of you experiencing this supposed wide-spread issue or is this just a fluke? Sound off in comments.

Source: WinSuperSite Mailbag

Related: How's your data consumption since going to WP7?

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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.

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Data usage passes Voice Calls

It appears we are using our Windows Phones and other cell phones more for data applications than voice calls.  In a New York Times article, the wireless industry association CTIA reports that in 2009 the amount of data in text, e-mail, streaming video, music and other services surpassed the amount of voice data in calls.

CTIA has witnessed a decline in voice data over the past two years with the call duration following suit. The average length of a local call was 1.81 minutes in 2009 compared to 2.27 minutes in 2008.

Conversely, data usage has increased. Text messaging alone increased almost 50% since 2008. Phone design is also becoming more data friendly with more QWERTY keyboards popping up.

So, are you part of the data crowd who text's short messages to your spouse, friend or family member instead of making a short voice call to them? Do you rely more on email than voice calls?

[via: Gearlog.com]

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