Check Your Usage History
mendoza1913's profile

Tutor

 • 

3 Messages

Wed, Oct 23, 2013 6:03 PM

iPhone 5S uses cellular data even when connected to WiFi

Hi,

 

I switched to AT&T Mobile Share plan on 10/19/2013 with 3 lines on my account (2 iPhone 5S and 1 iPhone 5).

 

I've never been more concerned about my cellular data usage until I gave up my Sprint unlimited data plan. I have reason to believe that I there are cellular data usage on my iPhone 5S during the block of hours that I am definitely certain that my phone is connected to home wifi.

 

Below are some of the "weird" Internet/mobile web usage:

 

This is an 8-hour block of time when the phone was technically sleeping BUT most definitely connected to wifi
10/21/2013 08:48AM Internet/mobile web 15.0 KBs
10/21/2013 07:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/21/2013 06:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/21/2013 05:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/21/2013 04:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/21/2013 03:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/21/2013 02:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/21/2013 01:48AM Internet/mobile web 2.0 KBs
10/21/2013 12:48AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs

 

This is again a huge block of time that I am sleeping and my phone doesn't have any push notifications activated. Most definitely, the phone is connected over wifi as we never switch off our home wifi 

10/22/2013 09:03AM Internet/mobile web 118.0 KBs
10/22/2013 07:03AM Internet/mobile web 2.0 KBs
10/22/2013 06:03AM Internet/mobile web 8.0 KBs
10/22/2013 05:03AM Internet/mobile web 2.0 KBs
10/22/2013 03:03AM Internet/mobile web 3.0 KBs
10/22/2013 02:03AM Internet/mobile web 2.0 KBs
10/22/2013 01:03AM Internet/mobile web 2.0 KBs
10/22/2013 12:03AM Internet/mobile web 4.0 KBs
10/22/2013 12:03AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs

 

Last night, I was at home at 7:00PM and connected to wifi immediately. But then there are still cellular data usage:
10/22/2013 10:39PM Internet/mobile web 5.0 KBs
10/22/2013 08:39PM Internet/mobile web 3.0 KBs
10/22/2013 07:39PM Internet/mobile web 12.0 KBs

 

I switched my phone off on 10/23/2013 between 12midnight and 7:00AM to see if there would be any difference on the data usage. Notice that there were no usage for 7 hours.

 

This is just several hours ago while I am at home and connected to wifi.

10/23/2013 09:34AM Internet/mobile web 15.0 KBs
10/23/2013 08:34AM Internet/mobile web 1.0 KBs
10/23/2013 07:34AM Internet/mobile web 10.0 KBs

 

Below is an excerpt from my online chat with AT&T representative today when I inquired about these usage

 

Jen: It is  not always recorded in "real time"; that is, our system does a sweep at certain times of the day/evening, so that is why you may see times when you know you did not use data, but it was recorded by the system at that time. Generally it is about a 24-hour delay, but can take up to 2-5 days as well.
Me: these are all the times that the phone is at home connected to wifi... and i am sleeping
Jen: These are just the times of the day/evening that the usage charges are actually being recorded by our system, not the actual time that you used the data. Because it is delayed usage, it will/may not show the real time usage.
Me: how do you explain that today 10/23/2013 i have not left the house.. and connected to wifi. but there are still cellular data usage? what i'm saying is: i am being charge for cellular usage when my phone is connected to wifi
Jen: Well, because the system does not record in real time, so that  is past usage.

Unfortunately, I do not have any way to see which data session this was for as well. You can always turn off your cellular data when you are connected to wifi just to make sure. You will still be able to make/receive calls and send/receive texts.

I am posting the issue in this forum because I'm very concerned with these small KBs of cellular data usage. These could add up every day and eventually cause overage. Again, I have 3 iPhones in my account which I haven't reviewed thoroughly yet but have the same issues.

 

The solution (switch off cellular when you are connected to wifi) doesn't seem to be a solid fix. I am hoping there's a better fix.

 

is it IOS 7 that is causing these data usage or is this an AT&T billing error?

what if I'm streaming music via iTunes Radio over wifi then suddenly the phone decides to use Cellular Data instead?

 

GeekBoy

Master

 • 

4.1K Messages

7 y ago

OK, "int/MD" is an abbreviation and as far as I recall, it stnads for "internet / MediaData". Internet is fairly obvious, and MediaData was the old cellular data access prior to smartphones. Basically "int/MD" just means that your device is using cellular data for the amount specified.

AT&T can't tell you what applications you have that are using the data, because IP traffic is all just IP traffic to them. They can tell what device is sending the data, but it could be litereally any of hundreds of apps that are causig that data use. Just looking at a packet header woldn't even guarantee that they could tell what app on yoru device originated the packet just because every app will generate similar looking IP packets and sentd them out to the internet.

The way those third party apps work is that they try to track the traffic on the deivce, or they route all of your data through their own servers so they can snoop into your data traffic and try to determine patterns from it. As long as you don't care that all of your internet traffic from your phone is going through their servers (where it could be hacked and accessed by unauthorized parties) they can be fairly accurate, but they may still mis-identify some apps.

Contributor

 • 

1 Message

6 y ago

I know this is an older thread, but I wanted everyone to know, this isn't exclusive to AT&T service. I use an iPhone 6+ on Verizon, and in the last month the identical issues have sprouted up. Every 6 hours, bizarre data logs are hitting my account, regardless of whether the phone is on or not. It's been since I late August. We're in jeopardy of getting overages on a shared account that we previously never came close to half of the usage.

 

I'm not blaming it on the carrier. I blame it on the OS and certain apps that are constantly pinging my phone.

 

I have changed all of the settings on the phone to limit push notifications, GPS location services and data use on certain apps. I think there are some apps like Periscope and Meerkat (and many others) that are data hogs, and they need to be monitored and restricted.

 

Hopefully, others can help hone in on the source of the data and resource issues. I'm guessing Apple knows where the causes are coming from and won't share.

 

 

Pretty ugly stuff. I guess my wife's tin foil hat wasn't so funny after all.

GeekBoy

Master

 • 

4.1K Messages

6 y ago


@apexspeed wrote:

I know this is an older thread, but I wanted everyone to know, this isn't exclusive to AT&T service. I use an iPhone 6+ on Verizon, and in the last month the identical issues have sprouted up. Every 6 hours, bizarre data logs are hitting my account, regardless of whether the phone is on or not. It's been since I late August. We're in jeopardy of getting overages on a shared account that we previously never came close to half of the usage.

 

I'm not blaming it on the carrier. I blame it on the OS and certain apps that are constantly pinging my phone.

 

I have changed all of the settings on the phone to limit push notifications, GPS location services and data use on certain apps. I think there are some apps like Periscope and Meerkat (and many others) that are data hogs, and they need to be monitored and restricted.

 

Hopefully, others can help hone in on the source of the data and resource issues. I'm guessing Apple knows where the causes are coming from and won't share.

 

 

Pretty ugly stuff. I guess my wife's tin foil hat wasn't so funny after all.


Here are some things that Apple has said over the years:

 

If you have an iPhone and it is not connected to an external power source, it will turn off the wifi radio to conserve battery.  If the phone uses any data after the phone has turned off the wifi radio, that data would be used on the cellular data network.

App developers can specify how their apps connect to the internet.  They can write their apps to only use cellular data even if wifi is available, or even to nevere use cellular data.  Most cell phone providers have their visual voice mail apps written to only use cellular data, even if the user is connected to wifi.

The newer releases of the Apple iOS operating system have many new features to automatically download things in the background.  If you don't turn these features off, you will use lots more data.  Many apps like Facebook will download videos and auto play them, even if they are not on the visible screen.  If that happens while you are on cellular data, you just used several hundred MB of cellular data for a video you never even wanted to see or never even saw.  The Safari browser may also be pre-loading pages based on what they guess you will go to next based on the current page.  Any of these will use lots more data.

Some carriers have moved to accumulating and bulk reporting data usage at specific intervals, rather than in real time.  This means that you may see data usage in 2,3,4 or 5 hour intervals consistently, when the data may have been used hours before. 

Need help?
Fix, replace or check device delivery
New to the AT&T Community? Start by visiting the Community How-To.
New to the AT&T Community?
Visit the Community How-To.