iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Tutor

iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Sunday morning, I got a warning text that I had used over 90% of my 2GB cellular data.  I was surprised at that, so I dug through the information, and found something I can't sort out.

I've been using an iPhone 4 since they first came out.  I pulled up my data usage with AT&T online, and over the past year, I have an average data use of 285MB per month, and a peak month of 443MB.

I upgraded to a 4s on October 14, and between that date and November 5, AT&T says that I've used 1967MB in that 3 week span.  I'm using the same apps on my phone, no iCloud synchronization, email set to manual fetch not push, no tethering, I don't listen to music or watch videos on cellular (and rarely on WiFi), and yet somehow I'm suddenly using 6 times more cellular data as was typical before?  My WiFi is set up correctly as home, as I do see the phone switch over to it.  Even then, I mostly use my phone to check email, FaceBook, and text.

 

Things went particular out-of-whack last week, with 414MB on 10/31, 640MB on 11/1, and 687MB on 11/3.

According to the cellular usage in my phone, I've sent 27MB and received 225MB in the same time frame.  I'm included to agree with the phone, as that number is consistent with my standard usage patterns.

I expect some discrepancy between what my phone says I've used and what AT&T says, but 252MB versus 1967MB?

I spent over an hour talking to Apple looking for possible explanations, but the phone was already set correctly.  They handed me off to AT&T, but AT&T only told me that they just know how much data is used, not why, and couldn't explain things.

I've seen a few messages suggesting similar problems.  Has anyone seen similar issues and gone back to try to explain it, only to find similar major discrepancies?

Thanks.

Chris

Message 1 of 99 (26,642 Views)
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Billing "data usage in blocks throughout the day" explanation ONLY makes sense if the user actually use those data; however, if these abnormal usage didn't happen until recently (same time as IOS 5 release), then there's really an issue. 

 

Also, conscientious users made the same observations.  Users here https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3410990?start=15&tstart=0 have very similar experiences.

 

I don't mind getting billed if I actually use the data but getting billed for services we didn't use is a different story.

Message 16 of 99 (25,045 Views)
Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Did you use an international calling card? You could be charged data for calls.

 

Let me just say that I have a 3GS and very similar thing happened on me a month ago even before iOS 5 hit. All of a sudden I used over 200 MB of data while I averaged 160 in the past 12 months.

 

I dug into my phone bill to find a clue and found that one phone number I called was pretty suspicious. It was a calling card (something like 10c per minute to call abroad) that I have been using for years. I found that I was charged data whenever I called access number for this card. One of the calls I made was more than 15 minutes long resulting in 90 MB of data usage. I suspect the phone card actually uses IP phone technology and somehow that messed up in the ATT system causing it to think it's a data connection. I am attaching the phone records below and you can see the caller ID to this number is listed as "PSDN MAIN".

 

I have since changed to call a different access number and the problem hasn't occurred. Needless to say ATT reps on the phone were not so helpful even when I told them of my investigation. Still I am happy I got refunded my data usage charge.

 

Here is the log. Note the time coincidence on both. Warning: do not call that evil number with your iPhone.

 

Voice:

Date         Time         Call To         Number Called         Rate Period         Feature         Minutes

09/24         08:45 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         NW                   2

09/24         08:18 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         NW                   16

09/23         07:36 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

09/19         07:19 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   10

09/16         07:54 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   16

09/16         08:18 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   5

09/13         07:12 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   15

09/11         06:02 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         NW                   2

09/09         08:15 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   8

09/09         08:14 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

09/09         07:54 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   20

09/09         07:53 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

09/09         07:51 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

09/09         07:49 AM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   14

09/06         06:29 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

09/02         07:40 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   16

09/02         07:40 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

09/02         07:21 PM         PSDN MAIN         626-389-0035         DT                   1

 

Data:

09/24         08:18 AM         phone         Internet/MEdia Net         Sent         91671KB

09/13         07:12 AM         phone         Internet/MEdia Net         Sent         1906KB

09/11         06:02 PM         phone         Internet/MEdia Net         Sent         54KB

 

Message 17 of 99 (25,022 Views)
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

@nanotube
That's a great analysis -- helpful information. Thanks for sharing!

I never used a calling card though; however, I still double-checked all the calls I made (which weren't much at all) and all the numbers are familiar to me.

I'm really convinced that it's a network and/or OS issue. Even if I used data while not in Wi-Fi, there's no way I could have used huge chunks of data unless there were transmissions that I never initiated. As I've mentioned, I never changed anything but updated to iOS 5.

I've been checking other forums as well but it doesn't seem like it has been resolved or that other users have heard anything concrete from either AT&T or Apple (unfortunately).
Message 18 of 99 (24,940 Views)
Teacher

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

ATTENTION PLEASE READ:

 

INSANE DATA USAGE PROBLEMS

 

DELETE / SIGN OFF from iCLOUD on your iPhones. Seems there is a bug in the iCloud which keeps sending and receiving data on the 3G cellular connection. Also follow these steps as well it has worked for me and I just recieved my iPhone.

Disable Siri, All notifications, Location Services and while on location services disable system services...Turn off fetch new data... in mail, contacts, calendar section, turn off iMessage, Turn off store <- MAKE SURE YOU DO ALL OF THESE TO MAKE IT WORK AND ALSO DELETE RUNNING APPS WHEN YOU'RE NOT USING THEM. KEEP THIS UP UNTIL THERE IS AN UPDATE!

Message 19 of 99 (24,828 Views)
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


coolguy2860 wrote:

ATTENTION PLEASE READ:

 

INSANE DATA USAGE PROBLEMS

 

DELETE / SIGN OFF from iCLOUD on your iPhones. Seems there is a bug in the iCloud which keeps sending and receiving data on the 3G cellular connection. Also follow these steps as well it has worked for me and I just recieved my iPhone.

Disable Siri, All notifications, Location Services and while on location services disable system services...Turn off fetch new data... in mail, contacts, calendar section, turn off iMessage, Turn off store <- MAKE SURE YOU DO ALL OF THESE TO MAKE IT WORK AND ALSO DELETE RUNNING APPS WHEN YOU'RE NOT USING THEM. KEEP THIS UP UNTIL THERE IS AN UPDATE!


So based on your suggestions... why in the world would anyone have a smartphone or iPhone.  Basicially, you are suggesting they turn off all the features of the phone and use it as a dumb phone.  Why not simply get a Razr at that point??????

 

I'm not implying some of your suggestions are not logical or realistic, but that's just extreme.

Message 20 of 99 (24,806 Views)
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I've the same issue 90% of my data plan gone within 15 days. I was with AT&T and Apple for an hour and all they have is execuses.

AT&T says that the 4s goes into sleep mode and drops the WIFI connection. And any updates are done over the cellular network. Why the phone connects via 3G when it has a WiFi conn. available ? they have no answer. 

All they say is turn off cellular data if you don't want that to happen. How dumb is that for a smartphone ? 

This is very frustrating, I am considering returning my phone if in a day Apple or AT&T won't fix this issue.

Message 21 of 99 (24,134 Views)
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

***********************************************************************************************************************************
coolguy2860 wrote:

ATTENTION PLEASE READ:

 

INSANE DATA USAGE PROBLEMS

 

DELETE / SIGN OFF from iCLOUD on your iPhones. Seems there is a bug in the iCloud which keeps sending and receiving data on the 3G cellular connection. Also follow these steps as well it has worked for me and I just recieved my iPhone.

Disable Siri, All notifications, Location Services and while on location services disable system services...Turn off fetch new data... in mail, contacts, calendar section, turn off iMessage, Turn off store <- MAKE SURE YOU DO ALL OF THESE TO MAKE IT WORK AND ALSO DELETE RUNNING APPS WHEN YOU'RE NOT USING THEM. KEEP THIS UP UNTIL THERE IS AN UPDATE!


So based on your suggestions... why in the world would anyone have a smartphone or iPhone.  Basicially, you are suggesting they turn off all the features of the phone and use it as a dumb phone.  Why not simply get a Razr at that point??????

 

I'm not implying some of your suggestions are not logical or realistic, but that's just extreme.

***********************************************************************************************************************************

 

 

I completely agree with you , If we have to turn off everything then why do I need a smartphone. 

Message 22 of 99 (24,134 Views)
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


pravinl wrote:

 

AT&T says that the 4s goes into sleep mode and drops the WIFI connection. And any updates are done over the cellular network. Why the phone connects via 3G when it has a WiFi conn. available ? they have no answer.


Simple... it's not specific to the 4S.  This is the way iOS is designed to work by Apple.  It has been this way since the original iPhone was released in 2007.

Message 23 of 99 (24,127 Views)
Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I've noticed the same thing. Going over my Data Usage back when I had the 3GS up until October 14th I was using around 500 MB per month. Since October 14th I am now going above 2GB per month and nothing has changed in my daily habits. Send a couple emails a month, stream a hour MAX a month of Pandora (normally just listen to what I have on my phone for music) and maybe watch Netflix on my phone a couple times.... 2 hours tops of that.

 

I've put in a message to AT&T but I'm not expecting much results from the looks of all the forum posts I've read about the same thing. I've been dinged an additional $10.00 because of this spike and I will either get a credit or I will cancel the phone and go with another Carrier and a different phone.

 

This is ridiculous.

 

Message 24 of 99 (24,126 Views)

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I don't know if anyone's said this but when the phone is plugged in it stays on wifi.
Message 25 of 99 (24,109 Views)
Mentor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I'm having no data problems had my phone for 5 days only used 125 mbs, that's low, i have 2gb data plan.
Message 26 of 99 (24,093 Views)
Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Having the same problem: used up my normal data allotment in the first 6 days of my billing cycle. This is only since switching to the iPhone 4s and iOS 5.

I found a potential quick fix. Turn the following preference OFF:

General / Network / Cellular Data
"Turn off cellular data to restrict all data to Wi-Fi..."

Am now researching it further, but this could stop the leakage.
Message 27 of 99 (23,802 Views)
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


dogweather wrote:
Having the same problem: used up my normal data allotment in the first 6 days of my billing cycle. This is only since switching to the iPhone 4s and iOS 5.

I found a potential quick fix. Turn the following preference OFF:

General / Network / Cellular Data
"Turn off cellular data to restrict all data to Wi-Fi..."

Am now researching it further, but this could stop the leakage.

Well, that will certainly stop the device from using cellular data, but unless you toggle it back on, you will not have data access when away from Wi-Fi.  At least to my way of thinking, what's the point of paying for data if you simply turn it off?

Message 28 of 99 (23,775 Views)

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

[ Edited ]

I don't know if this will apply to your specific situation, but the info helped me out a lot. iMessage uses up data from your plan. I couldn't figure out how I made it to 100MB in about 2 days when I barely had it out of the box.

 

I switched off iMessaging and will be using text messaging (since I have unlimited) from now on.

Message 29 of 99 (23,736 Views)
Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

How much data does a SMS message use? I'm thinking you would have to do a ton of texting to use 100MB in 2 days, unless you are also sending a bunch of MMS messages with pictures.
Message 30 of 99 (23,731 Views)
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