Windows Phone 7 faces a tough enough task against iOS and Android as it is, so rumours that WP7 phones are burning through their data allowances without their owners' knowledge certainly won't be going down well at Microsoft. Users have been flocking onto forums and Windows Phone 7 user sites reporting excessive daily 3G data use even when they've hardly used their phones. Worse still, there are some suggestions that handsets have been storing up data when outside of 3G reception and setting it off in one go once back in range.
Says Julie G on US site Supersite for Windows: “On December 22nd I received an email from AT&T saying that I was close to my 2GB data limit which truly shocked me as I feel I do not use data that much. 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.”
Windows Phone 7 is already quite data-hungry, given the spectrum of always-on web services always at your fingertips, from Microsoft services like Bing Maps and Xbox Live to the more conventional Twitter and Facebook.
But there are suggestions that the OS is favouring 3G data connections even when Wi-Fi is available, and that – in part, at least – is contributing to the unusually high data costs.
The uproar certainly hasn't gone unnoticed at Microsoft, or at least to the extent that it has released a one-line statement saying “we are investigating this issue to determine the root cause and will update with information and guidance as it becomes available”.
Just the thing you need when, for example, T-Mobile has just announced major cuts to its monthly data allowance for its contract holders.