Windows Phone 8 Data Sense Usage Tracking Is Coming To Australia, Eventually

Windows Phone 8 Data Sense Usage Tracking Is Coming To Australia, Eventually

One of the most interesting features of Windows Phone 8 is Data Sense, which tracks how much of your 3G/4G data has been used up. At the Australian Windows Phone 8 launch, Microsoft confirmed that it is talking to local carriers to see the feature introduced in Australia, but didn’t give any detailed time frames.

To work its magic — which includes compressing web pages so they need less data and giving you a live summary of how much data you’ve used from your allocation — Data Sense needs to be implemented at carrier level. Windows Phone 8 devices are being sold through Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, but none will have the feature at launch.

“We are talking to carriers and we’ll have more news to announce in the coming weeks on Data Sense,” Microsoft Australia’s Ben Miller told Lifehacker. “It is a feature that ultimately we’re looking to bring to market.”

Under the recently-introduced Telecommunications Consumer Protections (TCP) Code, by September next year, will carriers have to provide basic text message notifications to customers within 48 hours of them reaching 50 per cent, 85 per cent and 100 per cent of their allocation. The risk for Microsoft is that companies making that change won’t want the more complex Data Sense technology introduced in the same period. Time will tell.


  • Stuff what the carriers think.. if they are listening to us (which they wont) id rather Data Sense. I don’t want some obtrusive Telstra SMS im going to ignore in the first place.

  • Having to wait for carrier implementation is ridiculous and unreasonable. Android, iOS and even my old Sony Ericson elm have data counters. I don’t see why carrier support is needed to at least have basic functions such as showing how much data you have used and how much each app has used.

    I recently started using a windows 7.5 phone and was surprised to discover there was no data counter. As a result, I meticulously checked my data usage on my carriers website to make sure I wasn’t going over my data and was very careful about how I used the phone. I was only using about 5mb every couple of days for over a week until suddenly, over a few days I went through over 150mb and went over my cap. By the time I received a text message from my carrier I had already gone over the cap and incurred excess use charges. It isn’t in carriers interest to give us up-to-date information on our data usage. Microsoft should be looking after its consumers interests and not the carriers.

    Hopefully they will release and SDK that allows developers to make a third party data counter.

    • The carrier implementation is more forte data compression than it is for the tracking. It’s also in carriers interests for you to not go over your allowance, given the amount the TIO gets brought in to force a refund anyway. If you’re using a smartphone, and you only have 200MB, I’d probably suggest upping your plan anyway. 200MB is nothing when it comes to smartphone data.

  • So, nearly six months since the original post, how much progress has been made? As far as I can tell Data Sense is still unavailable in Australia.
    I’m finding that my Lumia 920 is using about 10x the data that my N97 did – up from a bit over 100 MB per month to 1.2 GB in my first month on my new plan. I guess a lot of that is because I can’t download WP8 apps on my PC and install them via Nokia Suite like I can with the N97. I really wish I could get an ad hoc wireless network to work properly at on my PC, but that’s another story.
    I definitely agree with the comments made by teddy8. Even a usage meter app for WP8 would be very welcome. The N97 has one. I can log into my carrier’s website to check my usage but that data is about 24 hours old so it’s hard to work out exactly what I’ve been doing to use so much data.
    I’m glad I let the guy at the store talk me into upping from the 1 GB plan to the 1.5 GB one.

Log in to comment on this story!