How Much Data Do You Use?

As I mentioned last month, I took the plunge into Windows Phone 7 on the AT&T network. For me, this is the first smartphone I’ve owned on my personal cellular account. I’ve had two other smartphones in the past; a Samsung Windows Mobile device on Verizon about 8 years ago and an iPhone 3G on the AT&T network for the last two years; but I’ve never had to track my usage or pay for those, as they were provided by my employers at the time. With the iPhone, at least (I’m not sure about the Samsung device), the data plan was unlimited, so there was nothing to track.

However, with my new Windows Phone handset, I selected the lower-tier data plan on AT&T’s network (200 megabytes of data for $15/month).

My wife got a Blackberry about 6 months ago, and that’s the plan we chose for her, as well. She’s constantly checking Facebook and Twitter, as well as occasionally checking her e-mail from her phone; but she rarely does that from anywhere but home. Therefore, she’s almost always utilizing a WiFi connection when she’s using data. Her monthly data usage usually ends up being between 15 and 30 megabytes.

I had no idea how much data I would use. Within the first week I had my new phone, I used 160 megabytes of data. It doesn’t sound like much, but when you consider the fact that my plan only allows 200 megabytes of data usage every 30 days, it was a bit extreme. I turned the data feature off on my phone and started utilizing the Internet features when connected to WiFi; with the exception of a handful of times when I needed to use the AT&T data network. At this point in time (with 4 days left in our billing cycle), I’ve used a total of 184 megabytes of data.

With the exception of one instance where I streamed 4 or 5 songs over the Zune network, I don’t really remember doing anything that would eat up very much data at a time. I did surf the Web a bit, and I had three e-mail/calendar accounts set up to sync automatically; I used the Twitter app quite a bit and occasionally used the Facebook app, but I didn’t stream any movies or anything.

My question is, for all of you that have smartphones out there, how much data do you typically use in a month? Are you using upwards of 1 gig each month, or are you more in line with my wife, using less than 50 megs? Are you on a cell plan with metered bandwidth? Have you received any notifications from your provider that you’re getting close to exceeding your allotment?