Since I upgraded to WP8, I have faced a continual dilemma, and no amount of research, and communicating with the right people has been able to offer me a definitive answer why. At first I thought it was a network issue, probably my data APN configured wrongly, and it’s still possible that is a contributor. When I check my account online, the APN that shows, is still different to the one that my carrier says it should be.
— Telstra(@Telstra) February 17, 2013
Of course I cannot say without a doubt that it is only network config that is causing the problems. There’s also strong evidence that apps, specifically apps that I used on Windows Phone 7 with out a problem, that have not been updated/optimised for Windows Phone 8, are also major culprits. The Windows Phone Dev blog recently published an article detailing monitoring network usage in poorly designed apps [take that to mean apps that have not been upgraded as well.
Users are frequently billed unexpectedly high connection fees due to their bandwidth use, which most of the time is a result of using apps that download data that is not necessary and are frequently bandwidth inefficient. It leads to a bad user experience, which is going to increase as more enterprises integrate apps in workplace operations. Additionally, the emergence of 4G will compel users to stay permanently connected.
The article offers a really good insight into what may be eating you data, but the only option the average user has to find out what apps are using their data, is to uninstall them and see if that makes a difference in their usage stats. This has been an issue for many, and not only on a single network, and that what makes it even more confusing, but there are threads on local and international forums that verify the issue. One of the first apps that I was pointed to that may be a problem was the Skype app for WP8.
At this point there are two apps that I have identified to be particular problems, and have seen a real benefit in removing from my phone. First of all the Telstra One app is a major problem. Now you may be able to keep it installed, but at least if you have it pinned to your start screen, make sure you use the smallest tile possible. Even disabling the background tasks for the app with the medium sized tile pinned to the start screen doesn’t stop the data usage.
The other app that I removed was the Weave News reader app from Seles games. Although Weave has just been updated, I’m loathe to reinstall it to test at this point. Removing these two apps has at least halved my data usage, and removing the Telstra One App has stopped the huge data spikes that I have been seeing.
Again, the only real process you can go through to detect problem apps is to uninstall all of your apps and then install one by one, monitoring your data usage after each app install for at least 24 hours.