Paul Thurrott has been tracking his data usage and noticed that after switching from an iPhone to Windows Phone 7, his usage has hit an all time high for 2010.
Now he has received an email from one of his readers that has data usage rates that seem well above what their normal usage would account for.
"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. 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. I called AT&T yesterday, December 28th, but they said that there was nothing that they can do to figure out what was happening on my phone."
This phone is connected to their Outlook email server, Yahoo! email and Facebook. Location services are disabled, there is no streaming and since the device cannot multitask third party apps, any data usage must be from the OS or native apps itself. Email and Facebook updates just cannot account for that kind of data usage.
Paul is speculating it may be tied to the Marketplace, but it would have to be downloading the entire Marketplace catalog descriptions and associated screen shots to account for that, but even then, that doesn't explain the massive amounts of data uploaded.
Stay tuned to see if this is just a few isolated instances or if there is something else going on. What is truly unfortunate is the reader's carrier, AT&T, doesn't seem to be interested in doing anything but collecting overage fees.