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What are "Bytes up" and "Bytes down" in data usage

In the data usage portion of my bill, there is a column for Bytes up and a column for Bytes down.  I have been told that there can be data usage even when it is not initiated by the cell phone user.   How does that happen?   And how would there be both Bytes up and Bytes down.Also, if a transaction

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ATT network initiated transaction using data

At the bottom of my ATT bill there is a statement that "The ATT network constantly communicates with internet enable devices when they are powered on.  These communications will show as data usage on the customer records but do not necessarily indicate a customer initiated transaction."My questions

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