Microsoft Investigating ‘Phantom’ Windows Phone Data

Reports have been flying around the Internet now for several weeks, but now Microsoft is officially investigating why some Windows Phone 7 handsets, mostly in the US, are leaking phantom data, according to a report by the BBC.

These handsets, and it appears only a few, are sending between 30 and 50Mb of data every day.  This is enough to eat up a monthly 500Mb data allowance in just 10 days.

Some people who have looked at their accounts have apparently seen patterns in their data usage.  This includes the phone sending data at night when they are asleep and not using it.  Another person said his idle data usage was between 2-5Mb per hour.

Nobody knows what it is that’s causing the problem though some have speculated that its the “send feedback to Microsoft” feature that’s causing this.  Given the fact that most complaints are in the US however it could also be being caused by some third-party software written by a handset carrier, or perhaps even the phone manufacturer.

There are also additional reports that some phones are sending a receiving data using the 3G connection when the phone is connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi.

In a statement, Microsoft yesterday said “We are investigating this issue to determine the root cause and will update with information and guidance as it becomes available.”

The first update to the Windows Phone OS is due next month, though it is unlikely that a fix will be found and implemented for these problems by then.  If you are experiencing this problem I would suggest switching off, if you have it turned on, the “Send Feedback to Microsoft” option and examining the data options for the software you have installed.  I have been unable to replicate the problem with my own handset.

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