Excess Data Usage? A Few Possible Fixes

There have been reports (check the last post) that WP7 devices have been sending back large chunks of data across user’s 3G connections, even when wi-fi is available. Whilst it doesn’t seem to happen to everyone, apparently it’s quite a common occurrence. I haven’t had this happen on my phone, but I’ve turned off any form of feedback sending. There isn’t a confirmed source of the problem, be it a bug or something that the phone does by default. It could even be down to certain apps, with some people claiming it’s the Marketplace app. Having done some research, these are some suggestions I’ve found that might help track down the problem (or at least stop it).

From Chris Walsh’s blog, it seems that the problem could lie in the downloading of large apps. By default, users cannot download apps larger than 20mb via their 2/3G connection. Instead, they must use their wireless connection, or plug in their device and download it via the Zune software. However, it seems that if you’re connected to a wi-fi network but it doesn’t have an internet connection, then a bug in the downloader causes the file to download over your 2/3g connection. This could certainly be the root cause of the problem, with users unwittingly downloading large apps over their data plan connection rather than their wifi.

According to this thread, there could be other causes (as well as confirming Chris’ post about the connection falling back on the 2/3g connection).

Firstly, check your data connection settings. When I got my phone, the first thing I did was to turn off my ‘Data Connection’ and ‘3G connection’. This ensures that the phone exclusively uses wifi. To to this go to Settings…System…mobile network (also labelled ‘cellular’ in parts of the world)…and turn off ‘Data Connection’. Of course, this may not be useful if you use your data connection a lot more than wifi, but if you’ve found your phone to be sending excess data, you could use this as a test to see if it stops.

You can also disable the sending back of ‘Feedback’. (Settings…feedback). It seems, however, that the default option of sending back feedback uses your data connection. If you want to continue sending back feedback, to help improve the phone, you can untick the box below the option that allows it to use your mobile’s data connection. This could have also contributed to data being used.

Finally, if you go to your `phone update` settings (also in the Settings menu), you can select whether or not you want to use your data connection to check for updates.

It’s quite difficult to pinpoint an exact cause at the moment, because a lot of the reports do not have all the details about their phone’s settings. However, the points listed above could certainly be the cause of the problem. If you’re experiencing this excess data usage problem, try turning off some of the settings mentioned and see if that helps fix the problem. If anyone has any other experience or suggestions, feel free to post in the comments.

Hope that helps cut down your bills!



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