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Does Windows Phone 7 Have a Data Transmission Bug?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the that's-a-lotta-bits dept.

Microsoft 202

blarkon writes "Microsoft commentator and Windows Phone 7 Expert Paul Thurrott has reported a serious bug that indicates Windows Phone 7 is uploading up to 50 MB of unidentified data every day. The phone operating system apparently ignores Wi-Fi connections for sending this data, leading some Windows Phone 7 owners hitting their 2 GB plan data limit while doing little more than checking email and social networking sites. Thurrott has written a book on Windows Phone 7 and is unlikely to be making such a claim unless it has some substance. At the moment no one knows what this data contains or where it is going, though Thurrott suspects it may be related to the Windows Phone Marketplace."

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Data plan limits are a scam (1, Offtopic)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744702)

Yes, I said it. Data limits are a scam. They are a tool for cell companies to suck as much money out of their customers as possible.

Imagine if your ISP did this...people would be irate.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (3, Informative)

yincrash (854885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744724)

in some countries, ISPs do actually do this.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745276)

And if you are roaming - make sure to turn off the data comm, you may even need to remove the configuration to be sure that the phone doesn't do data transfer at $10/MB...

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745788)

Yup. And to bring a little more context to "some countries", how about: Canada. The two major providers in the Toronto area are Bell and Rogers, both of which do not offer unlimited plans at all.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745956)

Ours did for a long time, but slowly raised the caps until we now have unlimited almost in every package. Shouldn't this be the normal evolution, not the other way around?

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34746078)

This might happen when there is competition between ISPs but once they have all the customers they can possibly have they start thinking up ways to milk more out of the existing ones.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744726)

They used to do that. I remember when I was first looking at broadband a decade or so ago, it was typical for DSL providers to have a cap of 1 or 2 gigabytes per month included.

I think the only improvement I've seen to ISP performance here is that the cap doesn't exist. Of course without that they haven't been able to figure out how to provide the promised bandwidth.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744734)

I thought plenty of ISPs DID do this already.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744906)

They do but it depends on where you are (legality of caps) and who your ISP is. For example, I am on Comcast in the US and 250 GB is their cap. I have routinely seen posts from Canadian slashdotters who have a lower cap, but I forget which specific ISPs - I certainly cannot state whether it is all of them or not.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744740)

You mean they don't already? Or are you just being ironic...

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

volxdragon (1297215) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744746)

Um, most ISPs do this too, they just call it something else :)

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744748)

comcast does, 250 GB

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

intellitech (1912116) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744776)

There is a large difference between the available bandwidth a cable company has, and that of a cell company which transmits the majority of it's data wirelessly via satellites/cell towers.

Comcast can afford a 250GB limit, and probably much more. The same cannot be said for most, if not all, cell companies.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (4, Insightful)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744840)

While it's one thing to charge people more to discourage excessive data use and maintain your network performance and the like, it's quite another thing to make it part of your business plan to charge unsuspecting users hundreds of dollars when they exceed that cap without realizing it. That's just exploiting people.

See also: international data roaming.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

weeb0 (741451) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745168)

That is why you cannot have the information about the minutes spend and the data transferred directly on the cell phone ...

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (4, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745222)

A few years ago I had a basic style flip phone. There were about six buttons on the face of the phone that would connect you to the internet and start racking up data charges with no confirmation. The start page was 500k of pictures and couldn't be changed. You also couldn't block data services from your account and instead had to pay something stupid like ten cents per kilobyte if you didn't have a data plan. So whenever you'd accidentally press a button, or the phone would press it as it was closing (yes, it would accept commands from these buttons if the phone was closed), you'd get about $50 in data fees assessed to your account.

Any attempt to demand that they remove them was met by stonewalling and flat out hanging up on you. I got out of my fees by threatening to take them to court over it, and suddenly they were able to block data services from my account. That didn't stop them from adding extraneous data fees a while later, though, when I had a smart phone with a real data plan. Imagine the shock when I see, "Data plan: $9.99. Data usage: $624.33" on my account because their service sucked so badly.

To be fair, I haven't had any trouble from them since then, and have never actually been forced to pay any of these fees since I threatened legal action..

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

nomel (244635) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745418)

This is why I only support companies that provide an unlimited month to month plan (like MetroPCS). The price of their plans, the extent of their coverage (pretty decent nation wide now), and the fact that they have "4G" where I live before anyone else is proof that the other companies are completely reaming their customers.

re: MetroPCS, etc. (1)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 3 years ago | (#34746034)

I agree with you, except I'm pretty doubtful that MetroPCS *really* allows you to use unlimited amounts of data each month for the flat rate. If you read all the fine print, I'm willing to bet it's just like my Cricket Wireless account -- where "unlimited data" actually means a monthly limit of 2GB per month, that if exceeded, means you get throttled back to very SLOW transfer rates for all your remaining usage until that month is over. You don't get charged any overages though, which is the main thing I'm worried about. But in reality, they do meter your usage and limit you when you exceed a threshold.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745516)

Comcast can afford a 250GB limit, and probably much more. The same cannot be said for most, if not all, cell companies.

If the cell companies spent more of their profits on upgrading their networks they wouldn't have that problem. The only reason they have much lower limits is greed. Comcast is greedy too just not as bad.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745836)

The only necessarily wireless part is between the tower and your phone. The tower MAY connect wirelessly to somewhere else, but can also be wired. South Korea has proven that the 2GB limits in the U.S. are laughable.

The cell companies sure do enjoy advertising bandwidth consuming applications, they just don't seem to want to actually deliver on those promises unless you have a bank account the size of Daddy Warbucks. With the new "4G" services, it is quite easy to burn up an entire month's allotment in under an hour.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (3, Insightful)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744796)

imagine if you couldn't use your phone because the network was always full of other people's traffic? People would be irate if this happened (well, more so than on new year's eve for example).

There's a reason for cost-effective plans, and I'm sure the providers will increase the caps over time as they add more capacity, but until they give you more capacity than you need (not forgetting some people use it all, no matter how much you give them) then you'll have to put up with it.

They may also charge you excessive amounts for the extra usage, and that's a money-grabbing scam, but the fact that limits are there is not anything a sensible person should consider out of the ordinary.

Now, that your phone is sending 50Mb (fifty f***ing MB!) of data every day - that's shocking. That's truly shocking, how much xml crap does MS need to put in there? Have they forgotten that data is expensive and you can't treat as mobile phone like a desktop permanently connected to a Gb LAN? Software is so sloppy nowadays, I couldn't even think what 50MB of update/info data looks like.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (4, Informative)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744904)

imagine if you couldn't use your phone because the network was always full of other people's traffic?

Imagine people doing that because the phone company advertised that's what you could use it for.

There's a reason for cost-effective plans, and I'm sure the providers will increase the caps over time as they add more capacity...

Hahaha!

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745632)

I was going to HAAHAA that comment too; I'm pretty sure ATT went from "unlimited" 5GB/month to 2 tiered plans, one 200MB plan and a 2GB plan.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745242)

Now, that your phone is sending 50Mb (fifty f***ing MB!) of data every day - that's shocking.

If you were on an EDGE connection, that's anywhere from one to eight percent of saturating the pipe (depending on local configuration), and that's just this background traffic. Yeah, that's pretty bad.

Data being sent: (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745384)

left,left,left,up,up,up,down,down,right,up,

right, up, up, up, up, left, down

left,left,left,up,up,up,down,down,right,up,

repeat for 4 hours

Tetris: would you like to start a new game?

click,move to xy, release

click,move to xy, release

click,move to xy, release

repeat for 4 hours

Solitare: would you like to start a new game?

"your phone is sending 50Mb..." (1)

msauve (701917) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745394)

Microsoft (in its best Groucho Marx voice): Have you ever seen any pictures of yourself in the nude?
User (sounding like Margaret Dumont): Why, good gracious, no!
Microsoft: Well then, would you like to buy some?

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744876)

Tell me about it, my unlimited plan used to be just that, unlimited. But now my provider (Vodafone) tries to sell extra packages and started sending letters when I hit just the 700Mb mark claiming 'fair use'... The new packages come as 'bandwidth' upgrades to the basic package, you'd better pay up those extra 10 euro miniumum otherwise when you do nothing you will suddenly get a bill of hundreds of euro's for the excess bandwidth... I calculated I would pay like 80x the money if I don't act, and 3x the money if I buy into the extortion scam.

They try to push the price-hike by whining with arguments that the network is flooded by smartphones from people that actually use bandwidth they pay for... But the stupidest part is that at the same time they advertise their new network packages with ads where people use their smartphone for all bandwidth intensive applications and claim 'Our network is ready for it'. Fuck them and their dirty tactics! When my subscription expires I'm so outta there, I'm willing to accept a lesser network just to make the point.

No, they are the reality of physics (3, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744948)

Data limits are a scam. They are a tool for cell companies to suck as much money out of their customers as possible.

They are a reflection of the physical reality that you can only support so many people on a wireless network of any kind. You simply cannot (physically!) have everyone able to use the full bandwidth a phone is capable of, all the time.

You have a lot more of a point in relation to wired networks, but for wireless networks tiered pricing was inevitable once they started being used heavily. AT&T was the first to do so, because they have the cellular network that sees the highest data load.

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745038)

Wireless bandwidth prices are just going to increase. They are like IPv4 - limited and almost completely used. Reallocating TV space and other frequencies to wireless just postpones the inevitable a few years....

Wired communication is like a router and switch - point to point communication. Wireless is like a massive hub... and universe will not allow you to make a wireless switch :) So I guess the original parent needs to complain to God about his limited wireless!

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745210)

Wired communication is like a router and switch - point to point communication. Wireless is like a massive hub... and universe will not allow you to make a wireless switch :)

You can have point to point wireless communications (there are already such devices out there). The difficulty is in having communications beams that you can aim and focus while being able to go through obstacles without killing or damaging stuff ;).

It may be easier if the antennas are bigger, but a large antenna can't fit in a pocket sized device.

That said, it is not always necessary for the antennas to be large on both sides.

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745366)

Actually, the antennas need to be smaller. Think of an antenna like a switch with a limited number of ports. Saturation of the wireless spectrum is only relevant for the range of the antenna. Shorter ranges mean more people get broadband, but it also means a lot of new low power antennas need to be erected and that wireless devices need to hop between towers more frequently while moving. Also, frequency overlap has to be avoided - you can't have neighboring towers using the same frequencies without interference. This goal cannot be reached without the aid of software and an accurate map of the terrain. Even then there would still be problems since higher power is required in hilly areas to avoid dead zones.

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745380)

Wireless bandwidth prices are just going to increase. They are like IPv4 - limited and almost completely used. Reallocating TV space and other frequencies to wireless just postpones the inevitable a few years....

Quite the opposite, actually. I would expect them to decrease over time like everything else in technology. As economies of scale kick in, it becomes cheaper and cheaper to build a cellular site. Therefore, the "we don't have enough cell sites to handle the bandwidth" argument doesn't really fly. And ultimately, bandwidth is only constrained if you don't have enough towers. You could put picocells in every business in a downtown area, for example, and you would never have a bandwidth problem because instead of all those phones shouting, they would be whispering at minimum gain. In the same vein, cellular providers could provide more seamless handoff functionality between towers and Wi-Fi and it would have the same effect.

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745964)

It's not like it's one nationwide collision domain though! The limit is the size of the cell. Between the cells, you are switching.

Meanwhile, if they're so cramped for space, why are they so busy carpet bombing us with ads for "4G" 30Mbps connectivity so you can watch TV on your cellphone? Truth in advertising (if it was enforced) would demand commercials where the spokesperson crawls out from under a rock covered in slime and says we very nearly approach showing some promise of not sucking too badly! Please give us some money!

If they can't do any better than this, then as a member of the public, I want the analog TV bandwidth back. Surely it can be put to a better use.

It's funny how 31 other countries manage to do so much better in wireless bandwidth. Are they in a different universe? If so, how do I know about them?

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745428)

No, you are wrong. It is NOT a matter of Physics. It could be at some time in the future but right now it is a matter of greed.

The USA ranks 31st [netindex.com] in the world in average Internet bandwidth. It's not a matter of population density. Do those other 31 countries know something about Physics that we do not? It's not unusual tor cable and telco drones to astroturf such sites claiming that US speeds are "fine". Obviously we have lost our "1st world" Internet status to countries whose standard of living is way below ours.

Compare your speed in the US with other locations in the US HERE [speedmatters.org] .

The 1996 Communications Act gave cable and telcos $200B to finish the fiber optic installations started by many local governments frustrated by refusals of those cable and telcos to move from Copper to glass, because of Copper's physical limitations to carry high bandwidth traffic. That act also prohibited local governments from "competing" against the cable and telcos, but it did not contain performance penalty clauses (imagine that!) so the cable and telcos pocketed the money and promptly forgot about the fiber optic. Oh, that act RE-DEFINED the definition of "high" bandwidth down to 200,000 b/s, which is about the top end of V.92 speeds. Now, you have telcos using phrasex like "fasterize your internet speed with ***", as they sell actually low speed DSL Tier connections, VOIP and Dish TV for $89/m for "life". In France, for $30/m, you can get 40Mb/s with free nation wide phone and 200 TV channels. Of course, France must know some Physics that is unknown in the US.

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745550)

Someone needs to learn the difference between wired and wireless.

You are an idiot.

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745812)

You obviously can't read with comprehension: "cable and telcos". For you translate that as "wired and wireless".

Re:No, they are the reality of physics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745912)

No, you're an idiot.

Trying to equate "cable and telcos" to "wired and wireless" is just dumb. It's like you are trying to claim that telcos are only using wireless networks. And that completely misses the point the GP was making.

The PHYSICS problems do exist when you look at the individual CELLs that make up a CELLULAR data network. That can be a significant problem when you have a heavy concentration of users in a given area.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

windcask (1795642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744952)

Stop acting like a child. Companies have to make profit margins in order to have to be profitable. You don't see a "office janitorial surcharge" on your bill, do you? The total sum of operating expenses for a company are figured into billing, not just solely the use of your device itself. This is why you'll pay $1.19 for a drink at a fast food restaurant that costs them 3 cents to make, but you'll basically pay at cost for your burger and fries.

If you disagree with your cell provider's business practices, you can always go back to a land line.
 
...or you can pay 23 bucks a month for an unlimited plan like I do at Verizon.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (3, Insightful)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745084)

...or you can pay 23 bucks a month for an unlimited plan like I do at Verizon.

... until Verizon starts acting like a child and claims that 'unlimited' is not really what you and I understand it to mean...

I have absolutely no trust that the price hikes are in any relation to the total increased cost of the bandwidth. Network upgrades should have been figured into the subscription already, if they claim now it's not sufficient they either underestimated the rise in bandwidth use or just neglected to upgrade the network accordingly... Either way it looks bad for a company whose primary business is communication.

And do you really think the surcharge for overuse is based on any reality of economics besides greed? When you go over your 'pre-agreed' data limit and use some more it's suddenly gold being burned by 3G... To come back to your fast food analogy it would be like getting a single packet of ketchup with your $1,49 fries, and when you finish that and want more the next packet of ketchup will cost you $100.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745280)

Verizon cellular data plans are not unlimited - not a one.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745748)

Don't be insulting. Your "unlimited plan" has strings [vzw.com] and strings ("I just wish unlimited data assigned to my account really meant unlimited data!!") and I doubt that you paid $23/m for it.

Verizon is " TESTING [droidinlife.com] unlimited data plans. I currently pay Verizon $72/mo for two cell phones, no texting, no Internet, 1600 minutes. To use the "unlimited" plan for two phones would cost me $160/mo, assuming they aren't lying about being "unlimited" and they throttle my speed when I hit a GB limit.

Right now, following the new FCC "neutrality" policy becoming law, using a cell phone to access the Internet does not look attractive unless you make in excess of $150K/year so you can afford it.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (4, Insightful)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745042)

Apparently not. I don't hear any significant mass outcry against this, except from Geeks. I did see a lot of corporate drones spewing corporate propaganda about how the new rules would "keep the Internet neutral". Joe and Sally Sixpack aren't knowledgeable, or concerned enough, to care. Besides, you should know by now that the FCC isn't about protecting the American public from greedy corporations, its about helping those corporations maximize their profits beyond normal returns, after helping those corporations stealing control of what was a tax-payer funded and supported communication facility. The affect of bribing (a.k.a "Campaign Contributions") politicians in Washington was an "AT&T breakup" in reverse. Since FCC chairman are chosen from among ISP management and return to ISP management when their terms expire how could you expect a different result. The situation is the same in all of the regulatory bureaucracies, which is why our Republic has been replaced by a Cabal and the Constitution has been effectively gutted -- all in the name of "Security", of course.

I pay $72/mon for a 12Mb/s guaranteed no-cap connection. That does not include phone or TV. A friend of mine in France pays $30/m for a 40Mb/s connection which includes free calls 24/7/365 to any other phone in France PLUS 200 channels of TV. The difference is greed. I have a fiber optic cable buried in my front yard. It was put there 15 years ago by my city government after it got tired of trying to convince the local cable and telcos to bring highbandwidth to the city. The cable and telcos bribed Congress to outlaw such "unfair competition" and in that Bill Congress gave the cable and telcos $200 Billion to finish what the local governments had started. Unfortunately, the bill did not contain a performance penalty clause, so the cable and telcos pocketed the money and promptly forgot about the fiber optic plans. Now, they are trying to maximize their profits on old Copper wire by trying to "two-tier" packets. The FCC's new rule allows tiering for wireless but not for Copper. The reason is also obvious -- force cable users to wireless, where telcos can squeeze even more profits from users.

In the near future you can expect them to begin charging a monthly fee for each website you visit, along with a monthly data cap. Ten bucks per month for email, for Facebook, per RSS, 25 bucks for YouTube. All with monthly data caps that are so low it guarantees that the users will be pushed into expensive per Mb download charges.

Joe, Sally, by being so stupid you asked for it. Now you are going to get it. Unfortunately, so will the rest of us.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745094)

The cable and telcos bribed Congress to outlaw such "unfair competition" and in that Bill Congress gave the cable and telcos $200 Billion to finish what the local governments had started.

http://lusfiber.net/ [lusfiber.net]

What you talkin' 'bout? My hometown was quite successful in doing exactly what you claim is now illegal. Are you sure that bill actually exists?

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 3 years ago | (#34746028)

That is the one reason I wish I still lived in Lafayette (Of course I still own property there, gogo housing market crash). All in all, my time there was fairly well tainted by my employer so I don't really love the place, but the fiber to the home initiative was exciting and interesting. I'm sad that I didn't see it brought to completion. You may recall however that Cox sued to prevent it from happening using the law GP mentioned. Something in the way Lafayette went about it (perhaps using LUS as a front) allowed them to do it anyway.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745284)

I don't hear any significant mass outcry against this, except from Geeks.

And there's a reason for that. Geeks understand the technology and know where these limits will inevitably lead. Most average people don't have the slightest clue yet. You can bet that when the companies start shaking down their users with a thousand dollar bandwidth bill because they showed a handful of YouTube videos at their holiday party, those average users will throw a fit, but by then it will be too late to fight it because the policies will be entrenched, and after all, nobody complained for the first two years, so the system must be okay. That's why it is our responsibility as geeks to pitch a fit at the top of our lungs and scream until Congress listens.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745076)

Small limits, like 200 MB are a scam. Large limits are somewhat defensible. If I had say 5 GB of data a month on a cell plan, that would not be do bad.

There is a difference between an ISP, in which the last mile data is over copper and fiber, and the cell plan, where the last mile data is over air. If data is carried over copper or fiber, then more cable may be laid to increase band width, or the ISP may buy access to this bandwidth. Since the ISP can generally charge more than these resources cost, there is little reason to limit bandwidth, as those that use little bandwidth will subsidize the cost of the that use a lot. Two people, one who check email and sufs the web, the other constantly downloading content, kind of cancels out. Both pay the same amount, the former pays the bill for the later, that is kind of the scam.

Over the air resources are more limited, which is why the public owns the airwaves, and in the US the FCC regulates their use. Cable can't be laid to increase the bandwidth, and more advance solutions are expensive. Each person who pays should have the same access rights to the air waves. If one person wants to download movies 24 hours a day, say hundreds of GB a month, that may mean that I do not a quick connection to check my email. While I do not mind subsidizing someone else's need for constant p0rn, I do mind when I cannot do what I need to do.

A long time ago when we did not have the land based bandwidth we do now a similar restriction was in place. Casual users of the then new internet were asks not heavy use of it during the day. I am not kidding. Resources were tight, many severs had other uses during the day, so most of us played at night. It was not a big deal. We just lived with it until the infrastructure got build out.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

Sepodati (746220) | more than 3 years ago | (#34746012)

Small caps are fine so long as they are clearly advertised as such and the customer has a very easy method of monitoring use.

I'd like to see a dozen tiers so that you can pick one in a range that's useful to you.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745278)

Imagine if your ISP did this...people would be irate.

I think I'd actually prefer it to my "unlimited" plan right now.

Let us pay for a block of data... $X for 2 GB/month. $Y for 4 GB/month. Then provision your networks accordingly. No more of this bullshit where they oversell a segment and everybody gets crappy performance.

Or just charge per byte. Give me a handy tool to meter my use... And let me pay for what I use. Again - provision your networks accordingly and don't oversell the hell out of it.

Either way, I'd be a happier customer.

"Unlimited" sounds nice - but it doesn't exist. There are limits. And I'd rather know where the limits are than trip over them in the dark.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745624)

I would argue that a 4 GB plan should provide 4 GB for a given fee, whether it gets used up over one month or one year. And when that is used up, they should bill you for another 4 GB. And if a download drops midway and has to be restarted from the beginning (or if a page fails to load and requires reloading everything), the phone company should have to eat that cost.

My attitude is that I'm paying a monthly fee that provides up to 5 GB per month and I'm only using a fraction of that, I'm wasting money. Thus, I might as well find a way to max it out every month.

The flip side of this is that if customers were routinely forced to pay rates based on usage, it would significantly drive down demand on smart phones, and the carriers make a hefty profit on those, hence they aren't likely to do that any time soon. In effect, the carriers want to eat their cake and still have it. It is in their best interest to entice people with unlimited service, then say, "Oh, but we didn't really mean it." They want people to buy the expensive smart phones so that they can make a huge profit on them, but then they want people to use them like they would use ordinary phones. The real world doesn't work that way, and this is starting to become painfully obvious to the telcos.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34746182)

Wow, you drank a whole barrel of coolaid!

The fundamental limits are in the data RATE, not volume.A network provisioned for X Mbps will cost no less to operate if it isn't used at all and will cost no more if it is maxed 24/7. What we really need is for the ISPs to be forced into truth in advertising. They need to be forced to disclose how much bandwidth is actually provisioned per account (the committed rate).

Personally, I don't want the metering. I'm a bit tired of being nickeled and dimed to death by everyone and his dog. All the overhead for the metering billing and accounting for all this crap is eating a significant chunk of productivity in this country. It's a crazy amount of overhead (imagine that, bean counters count the marginal cost of absolutely EVERYTHING except for bean counting). What I want is a committed rate and the option to pay in advance for a higher committed rate. I want to know the cost up front and to not have to think about it any further. I've got more interesting things to do.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745634)

Imagine if your ISP did this...people would be irate.

where do you live? most ISPs in the united states do this.
also, most ISPs and cellphone service providers alike aren't "making money" from the people, as you can't pay more for higher cap. and you don't get charged for going over.... they just slow your connection down to a crawl until your billing period resets.

Re:Data plan limits are a scam (1)

screwzloos (1942336) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745762)

My ISP does do this. Then again, Alaskans don't seem to know any different. Not that we have any choice in the matter. Our internets really are tubes.

http://www.gci.com/for-home/alaskas-fastest-internet [gci.com]

You think Comcast or AT&T are bad?

What's so different? (2, Informative)

Jerry (6400) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744758)

All of the Winddows OS's have been sending "demographic" data back to Redmond on a regular basis for years. This was throughly documented on the old F**KMicrosoft.com website.

Re:What's so different? (0)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744820)

This also seems similar to a story that came out a while back regarding mystery data xfers on the iphone, though in that case, IIRC, the mystery xfers were not applied to the plan's data cap.

Re:What's so different? (2)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745046)

This also seems similar to a story that came out a while back regarding mystery data xfers on the iphone

The iPhone data logs were determined to be daily data usage logs sent to AT&T for billing and for the data stats they provide via text to the user.

Re:What's so different? (2, Insightful)

whiteboy86 (1930018) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745078)

ORLY??? Have you anything to backup that claim ? Or specify that "leak" website more ? If true, that could trigger a massive privacy related class action lawsuit against MS.

Re:What's so different? (1)

hcs_$reboot (1536101) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745256)

Did anything change since?
It looks like we, poor users, are helpless facing those hidden dirty tricks.

Microsoft's feature; your bug (0)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744802)

Get the idea? Spyware. Built into the operating system. So you don't even have to install some dubious stuff to get spied on.

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (3, Insightful)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744842)

I believe some packet inspection is in order before we make claims like that.

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744890)

Some days I also wonder what Slashdot would be like without unsubstantiated claims.

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745182)

2 or 3 posts / story max. Of course, this is an unsubstantiated claim. :D

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744918)

That's why spyware would do exactly what is described here, use the 3G and not the Wifi... Because 3G traffic is much harder to capture and inspect...

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (1)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745300)

That's why spyware would do exactly what is described here, use the 3G and not the Wifi... Because 3G traffic is much harder to capture and inspect...

Harder, but not impossible. All it takes is one hacker to investigate what's in the packets...

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (1)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745308)

Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to packet-inspect 3G data usage of a closed proprietary OS without provider cooperation...

Even if you had one of those AT&T femtocells, you likely would just see traffic between the femtocell and an AT&T server that handled femtocell traffic and then routed it to the real world.

Re:Microsoft's feature; your bug (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34746046)

Hmm, wonder if the person is on a terrorist tracking list? Perhaps the data includes minute-by-minute GPS location information, calling information and heavily compressed voice logs. The telcos all have these backdoors into their systems for the government to spy on you.

Probably not. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744826)

I've had the Samsung Focus since mid-November. I use it heavily for email, browsing, and even the occasional Netflix stream of a TV show. I rarely enable WiFi. I just pulled up my usage on AT&T's website, and I'm averaging about 1GB/month.

Count me as a "No" datapoint in response to Paul Thurrott. Next question, please.

Windows Update? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744828)

Probably downloading security fixes.

Re:Windows Update? (1)

fireylord (1074571) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745888)

Probably downloading security flaws.

FTFY

Microsoft has responded to this issue by... (2, Funny)

rshxd (1875730) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744854)

.. releasing a rubber casing to put around your phone due to the design flaw

Re:Microsoft has responded to this issue by... (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744916)

.. releasing a rubber casing to put around your phone due to the design flaw

well... it worked for apple.

Re:Microsoft has responded to this issue by... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745036)

Microsoft has responded to this issue by releasing a metal antenna casing to put around your phone due to the design flaw, preventing transmission of this data.

Fixed that for you.

#1 suspect: crash dumps (4, Insightful)

jthill (303417) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744870)

Debug code that didn't get turned off or something. 30-50MB bulk uploads in a kinda-regular pattern, and when she turns on airplane mode it seems to save them up.

#2 suspect: somebody found a hole, it's been botted right out of the gate.

Re:#1 suspect: crash dumps (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744942)

IIRC Microsoft used to have deals with carriers that let Windows Mobile phones send crash/problem data to Microsoft over carrier network without the end user incurring any charges. May be Win Phone 7 does something similar but Microsoft forgot to extend the WinMo deal to 7?

spycam? (1)

swschrad (312009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744872)

scam in any event. MY data is supposed to be free. YOURS should pay me back.

TCP routing issue probably (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744936)

this looks suspiciously like a routing issue.

The main complaint is data is going over provider wireless when WLAN is available.
If the first part of his forum he comments that it was a download from wap.cingular of 150MB which he feels should have gone through the WLAN.
He's right.. If this is the case they will have to break the network stack out into separate data providers with separate gateways and make sure every program has a priority list of which provider to use since likely there is data send and receive that HAS to go through the providers wireless.
I suspect if his download was from a network address outside cingular it would have used the WLAN.
   

Suck it up. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744950)

There was a similar story about the iPhone a while back. Turns out it was just the day's data usage being 'billed' each night. The 30mb of data that you used throughout the day gets deducted from your allowance during the night. No story here, you used the data. Suck it up and move on. Disclaimer: I am an iPhone user and would therefore not be disappointed if this was in fact a flaw in WP7. Unfortunately/fortunately (delete as appropriate), it's not.

Umm.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34744960)

I know absolutely nothing about the author, but this statements seems a little naive:

> Thurrott has written a book on Windows Phone 7 and is unlikely to be making such a claim unless it has some substance

Making such a claim without substance seems like SOP when writing a book - it gets you free advertising on places like Slashdot.

Man... (5, Funny)

mattgoldey (753976) | more than 3 years ago | (#34744962)

those 5 guys that bought a Windows phone are gonna be pissed.

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745200)

Five? It was two guys just last week!

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745936)

Sales are up by 250% in the week ending December 31st!

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745250)

Seems the uproar is mostly from reviewers with free phones. The 5 people who actually bought one aren't internet users.

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745390)

actually they sold a million Windows 7 phones with the Samsung Focus alone in week one so that's hardly anything to laugh at

Re:Man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745542)

those 5 guys that bought a Windows phone are gonna be pissed.

I realize this sort of childish comment is popular on Slashdot, but their sales are probably closer to a couple million (they announced 1.5M before Christmas [usatoday.com] . That number was probably phones shipped to carriers as opposed to customers, but again, it was before Christmas).

All you do is undermine your position with these tired, poor jokes.

Re:Man... (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745852)

As I'm reading this, you have four anonymous coward comments... I guess the 5th guy hit his 2GB limit.

XML here and there...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745006)

I am not surprised. After all, WP7 is Silverlight based, an XML heavy framework. And also MSFT tendencies to overuse SOAP Web Services in everything, also another XML heavy protocol. Much of data transferred is probably just handshaking information.

All your bandwidth are belong to us! (1)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745066)

50 MB is an awful lot. I can't imagine a legitimate reason to be sending that much data anywhere without the user's knowledge.

Of course not! (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745110)

But we do have a feature that does the same.

iPhone DejaVu (1)

jtara (133429) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745116)

This would be a case of dejavu for iPhone owners - if there were any that had switched to Windows 7...

This issue came up a while back with the iPhone. Users world-wide on different carriers reported a similar issue. I don't think it was ever fully resolved, but the consensus seemed to be "aggregate billing". That is, the billing system might be aggregating many small sessions during the day and reporting them at the time of "collection" rather than the actual time of use. That is, people were seeing data being billed during times of day when they KNEW they were at home or the office on WiFi, but perhaps it was just when they were out of the house and reported later.

Alternately there was a theory about "statistics" (what kind?) being sent that are always sent over the carrier network.

Like I said, never fully resolved. I set up my smart switch so that I could monitor outbound traffic, and never caught anything definitive. Dunno if anybody else ever figured out what the traffic was.

Re:iPhone DejaVu (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745382)

That was exactly what I thought of when I first read this too. Read the lady's letter. Facebook automatically downloads pictures and updates and she plays a lot of Bejeweled. If FB is caching pictures for her and she has a lot of friends, I could see hitting 30-50MB in a day.

I think you're right that this is a billing system issue. It shows no data use while you were using your phone, and it shows a ton when you're not. It's just coalescing things so you don't have 1200 data charges per day of 2-10kb each.

But what settings are being used? (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745386)

Seriously, I hear a lot about web use and Facebook but what about other things. Do those with high usage use the auto-upload for Skydrive? Is "find my phone" turned on, and if so is it set to periodic or all the time? What about "feedback," is it on or off, and is it set to be allowed to use your cellular data plan? These are all options on the phone, and they are options that could quickly rack up usage if forgotten about. My WP7 phone has quickly become my camera of choice for point and click exactly because it auto-uploads to Skydrive. I was not amazed at all when I had used 1 gigabyte of data with my new WP7 phone the first month I had it.

Re:But what settings are being used? (1)

wilgibson (933961) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745476)

Also might want to note that it auto-downloads updates all at one time for any applications installed on the phone.

4 points to make. (-1, Offtopic)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745500)

1. I am planning on buying a WP7 LG Quantum soon.
2. This problem has made me glad I have been waiting.
3. The anti-m$oft trolls sure have a lot of mod points. Even useful posts in an thread about Windows Phone 7 are modded down.
4. Mod this down and prove #3 correct.

Re:4 points to make. (1)

scrib (1277042) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745884)

Or they might mod you down because your post is complete devoid of useful or interesting content...

I would, however, give you a +1 Ironic Sig.

Re:4 points to make. (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34746178)

"Well touche."
or
"Since when has that been a requirement for posting to /.?"

My Alarm didn't go off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745802)

What did I miss? LMAO

Not a problem on my Focus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34745944)

I got a Samsung Focus a few weeks after they came out, and am running just over 250MB/month. Two email addresses, and a moderate amount of web surfing and Marketplace use. I'm inclined to think there's a problem with his setup.

thank god (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745966)

paul thurott is a microsoft fan, and windows junkie. he writes a lot about microsoft products, and usually positively, given his preference. he also makes money writing and blogging about MS products..

that results in conspiracy theorists in slashdot comments to claim he is a paid employee of microsoft every time his name is mentioned and as such dismiss him

which is pretty unfortunate, as he and his material tend to be useful for those of us that are forced to/choose to use microsoft products

now we have a slashdot front page article of a pretty big criticism from thurott. something to link to in future articles!

Re:thank god (1)

jcombel (1557059) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745992)

aw god now i'm a thurott paid employee~~~~

Not Just Windows Phone 7 (1)

unimacs (597299) | more than 3 years ago | (#34745978)

A number of iPhone users have a had a similar problem including my wife though the transmissions are not daily. There are long threads on the topic in the Apple discussion forums. The transmissions are made at night while she's not using the phone. Even the phone is asleep, otherwise it would use our home wifi rather than the 3g connection. Crash dumps are one suspect. I've walked through the steps to turn off reporting that data to Apple but the transmissions continue. Usually about one or two a week. Enough to push her over the limit for her data plan. If it is diagnostic information, the usage should be charged to Apple and not the phone users.
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