Report: Microsoft raises cellular download cap for Windows Phone apps

As smartphones become more and more popular among the general public, so too has the activity of downloading new apps for a smartphone. We have also seen smartphone apps, particularly for high-end games, become larger and larger in terms of file size – many apps are so big they require a WiFi connection.

Until just recently, if you wanted to download an app or file that was larger than 20 MB on a Windows Phone-based device, you had to use a WiFi connection. Now it looks like Microsoft has very quietly lifted that cellular download limit. Windows Phone Central reports that they have been able to download much larger files on AT&T's network and they speculate that Microsoft has raised the cellular download file limit to 50 MB.

It's likely that Microsoft has worked with wireless carriers to make this change, as faster LTE networks in the U.S. become more and more prevalent. However, many wireless carriers like AT&T and Verizon no longer have unlimited data plans, which means that people who download larger apps on their cell network will also see increases in their data plans.

We have emailed Microsoft to find out more about this change to Windows Phone cellular download limits.

Source: Windows Phone Central | Image via Windows Phone Central

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Microsoft goes behind the scenes on Bing Windows 8 apps

Next Story

UK and France Amazon sites list PC port of Grand Theft Auto V

23 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

I live in Lithuania, and free WiFi is thinly spread to say the least. Unlimited data plans are not offered by any provider anymore but lucky I still have an unlimited plan from 2.5 years back which I hold on to. I use my phone (HD2) as a router and connect all family laptops at home to it (very handy when we are away, which is a lot). We easily go over 500 Gb per month (especially with the daughter being a music/film maniac) but the provider has not forced me to change plan (have asked numerous occasions though).

Thinly spread is one way of putting it, I was there a 1.5years ago and finding a WiFi at all was something (even with security )
Found that the richer neighbourhoods often have open WiFi though.

Good. Better still if I could override it completely. I get 30-35 Mbps over 4G, but only 1-2 Mbps wifi at home, and nothing at work. I often end up using my phone as a hotspot at home because the ADSL connection is so bad. The perils of living in an internet backwater (Central London)...

yes! I have been stuck in that awkward situation a couple of times: buying a game while waiting at the bus stop and then not being able to download it

InsaneNutter said,
Can you disable that? for me personally that would be an annoying limitation to have if i owned a Windows Phone device.

No you can't.

I had to connect to WiFi to download offline content for maps/dictionary/etc.
as they are large files.

deadonthefloor said,

No you can't.

I had to connect to WiFi to download offline content for maps/dictionary/etc.
as they are large files.


Which is better than waiting half a day while it downloads a massive file that will end up costing you a fortune on top of it...

M_Lyons10 said,

Which is better than waiting half a day while it downloads a massive file that will end up costing you a fortune on top of it...

In america maybe, some other countries have much higher or still unlimited data caps.

Indeed, unlimited 3g here for £9.90 a month. The download speeds i get average between 8 to 10mbps at home / work so I just let all my apps update over 3g.

francescob said,

In america maybe, some other countries have much higher or still unlimited data caps.

Strange cause here data caps have lowered, i pay 10E for 500mb a month and its one of the cheapest I could find.(then again the contract also includes a Lumia 920 )

techbeck said,
Thats cool. Tho with WIFI being basically everywhere these days, I normally use that to upload/download data anyway.

True story. After three years of unlimited data on Sprint, I looked back on my monthly data usage, which should have gone up as smartphone culture grew, but instead shrunk on average over the long term. Thanks, I imagine, to the continuing spread of wifi errwhur.

Realizing I could ditch Sprint for a network with a better selection of devices with no risk of suffering due to data caps, off I went.

/though XDA has taught me that nothing compares to the 0.01% of cellular network users pulling 15+GB/mo while viscerally opposed to paying more than anyone else for their 'problem'

Joshie said,

True story. After three years of unlimited data on Sprint, I looked back on my monthly data usage, which should have gone up as smartphone culture grew, but instead shrunk on average over the long term. Thanks, I imagine, to the continuing spread of wifi errwhur.

Realizing I could ditch Sprint for a network with a better selection of devices with no risk of suffering due to data caps, off I went.

i switched to Verizon a couple years ago and got the 2gb data plan (actually was upgraded to 4gb free) and I barely use a few hundred MB a month. Tho it is nice to have in case I start streaming more music when I am not on WIFI. A few years ago, this would be different like you stated.

Was on T-Mobile for 10 years prior to Verizon. TMO is great in city but sucks anywhere else. So where I moved, i didnt get good reception. Tried Sprint for a day and returned the phone and all equipment (reception just as bad as TMO). Verizon has been great so far.

I would in the UK but they rip you of with Wifi and it's better to use 3G. You have to pay to use Wifi in hotels, airports, on the trains and pretty much any public place unless you find a private connection. Some pubs I go to offer free wifi but I disable it on my android because most of them require you to login, it's annoying when you are on the move. Maybe wifi is more free over in the US?

bucko said,
Maybe wifi is more free over in the US?

Yup, a lot of fast food places have free WIFI as well as dealerships, hotels, certain events, and other businesses. Not to mention that a lot of home users still do not have their wifi protected.

techbeck said,

Yup, a lot of fast food places have free WIFI as well as dealerships, hotels, certain events, and other businesses. Not to mention that a lot of home users still do not have their wifi protected.

same here in Canada. Mcdonalds, Tim hortons, burger king, bars etc... All free wifi

Ah I still love my unlimited Verizon 4G. It is actually much much faster than my home internet connection (time warner/road runner is just miserable). I get 20 Mbps down/2 Mbps up with TWC/RR. With my Verizon 4G, I can get 35-40Mbps down/11-15 Mbps up, and I can tether to anything, so yeah. So, bottom line is I never use WiFi anywhere, even if the WiFi connection is faster (or slower). I'll use the most of my unlimited data plan!

tsupersonic said,
Ah I still love my unlimited Verizon 4G. It is actually much much faster than my home internet connection (time warner/road runner is just miserable). I get 20 Mbps down/2 Mbps up with TWC/RR. With my Verizon 4G, I can get 35-40Mbps down/11-15 Mbps up, and I can tether to anything, so yeah. So, bottom line is I never use WiFi anywhere, even if the WiFi connection is faster (or slower). I'll use the most of my unlimited data plan!

I would to, if I had unlimited data.

Colin McGregor said,

same here in Canada. Mcdonalds, Tim hortons, burger king, bars etc... All free wifi

Not free WiFi.
You are agreeing to their terms of service, which is why I continue to use data. My provider has unlimited to 10GB before they throttle speed, no overage charges.

Joshie said,

True story. After three years of unlimited data on Sprint, I looked back on my monthly data usage, which should have gone up as smartphone culture grew, but instead shrunk on average over the long term. Thanks, I imagine, to the continuing spread of wifi errwhur.

Realizing I could ditch Sprint for a network with a better selection of devices with no risk of suffering due to data caps, off I went.

/though XDA has taught me that nothing compares to the 0.01% of cellular network users pulling 15+GB/mo while viscerally opposed to paying more than anyone else for their 'problem'


Agreed. Same here. Though I feel additional charges or tiers should be for people that exceed the limit consistently... I don't think they should hit someone with overage charges for doing it once or twice...

M_Lyons10 said,

Agreed. Same here. Though I feel additional charges or tiers should be for people that exceed the limit consistently... I don't think they should hit someone with overage charges for doing it once or twice...

Usually there is lenience if you have an honest story and don't storm in like an entitled, self-righteous jerk, but that's the general rule of thumb for all customer-representative interactions.

Though I don't think carriers are necessarily the "good guys", I've been around long enough to remember a few short years ago when we paid per -kilobyte- over on very low data caps. Things have gotten enormously better in less than a decade, and the iPhone-generation smartphone bandwagon is largely responsible for the consumer ego strutting about lately.

bucko said,
I would in the UK but they rip you of with Wifi and it's better to use 3G. You have to pay to use Wifi in hotels, airports, on the trains and pretty much any public place unless you find a private connection. Some pubs I go to offer free wifi but I disable it on my android because most of them require you to login, it's annoying when you are on the move. Maybe wifi is more free over in the US?

Strange, here in Holland WiFi is free almost everywhere. Our entire public transportation (trains for now, busses are slowly connecting to it) has free WiFi. Major trainstations have free WiFi (smaller ones require a fee or a contract at one of the major ISP's who run the project). Every McDonalds, Starbucks etc have free WiFi. Hotels are free. The only paid WiFi spots are on the smaller train stations.
And all WiFi is either KPN or T-Mobile. And everyone is either with KPN or T-Mobile (daughter companies are included). All their Hotspots are free if you have a contract with them.

Strange this differs so much while you're my neighbour