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Phones appear to use 3G data even when Wi-Fi is available

Windows Phone 7 data bug ‘costing people money’

Windows Phone 7 owners have been reporting unusually high data usage and unexpectedly running afoul of their data plan limits.

Writing to Paul Thurrott’s Winsupersite.com, one disappointed Windows Phone 7 owner wrote in saying: “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.”

Other users also reported issues of high data consumption even under light use conditions and with phones connected to home Wi-Fi networks, leading Thurrott to conclude: “Basically what’s happening is that the phone is utilizing the 3G data connection even when Wi-Fi is available.”

Thurrott had also been tracking his own data usage since moving from an iPhone to Windows Phone 7, showing a steadily increasing monthly data usage. “My data usage seems to be on a sharp upward trajectory,” he said.

Microsoft had earlier reported that manufacturers of Windows Phone 7 handsets had sold 1.5 million units into mobile carriers but it’s not clear how this relates to actual numbers of handsets sold to consumers.

While Microsoft stands to gain from the release of a mobile operating system attractive to network operators and higher data usage equals higher network operator revenue, it’s not clear whether the heavy data usage is deliberate or some sort of bug.

However with Windows Phone 7 owners reporting phones uploading between 30 and 50MB of data every day, many are turning to Microsoft for answers.

 “Microsoft? If this is your fault, as I suspect, you’re costing people money on this one,” said Thurrott.

Image: Paul Thurrott’s WinSuperSite.com.

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