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iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

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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

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Message 1 of 99
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

There is so called phantom data cases. One such on a phone that was purchased and directly turned off.
Message 46 of 99
Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@4sskyrocket wrote:
There is so called phantom data cases. One such on a phone that was purchased and directly turned off.

I am intrigued. Is there any actual report somewhere I could read (ie, can you post a link to your source?)

 

Message 47 of 99
Scholar

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I've never had this issue on my iPhone
I've almost used up my allowance on my own
Accord this month!

Basically have you turned notifications off
And looked at syncing? Apps like weather or stock
Seem to update abit on the iPhone but going into settings and changing this can help!
Message 48 of 99
Contributor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I believe I have narrowed down the source of my data overages to video downloads (CrossFit workout demos!) while connected to my home wifi. I base this on looking at my recent usage on the att site, since I show HUGE data usages (like, 145,000 KB) on Saturdays and Sundays. The CrossFit videos are a recent change in my usage.

During the week at work I am unable to connect to any wifi and so daily access to my frequent apps is 3G. I use myfitnesspal, web browsers, email, Outlook Pro, words with friends, etc, and the nightly data totals posted are much more reasonable (10 to 4000 KB per day). Notably, on a week where I was travelling and rarely connected to wifi and using 3G, my peak daily data was 10,500 KB.

While at home, I show to be connected to wifi (the little wifi symbol at the upper left as well as in settings I show to be connected). My primary usage of my phone on the weekends outside of my home is telephone, text, reminders, camera/photo album, stopwatch, along with my favorite apps as previously listed. The only difference is that on the weekends I view the CrossFit workout demos on my phone. I view them on my phone because it is handy and because I am connected to wifi.

As a diagnostic, I turned off Cellular Data. Immediately I noticed that email, apps and videos load MUCH faster with cellular OFF while I am at home. This weekend I am going to download a bunch of CrossFit videos while my cellular is off, then next week review the usage reported by att. What the heck, it's early in the bill cycle!

I have no IT/Network experience whatsoever. I do have extensive experience trouble shooting mechanical troubles and so understand the first step is to verify a problem exists and the next step is to pinpoint the source.

If we can all agree that a problem exists, what could be the source? Could the error be in the device, where for some reason it is using both wifi and 3G, simultaneously?

I have 4S running iOS 5.0.1.

 

Message 49 of 99
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

There is without a doubt something "wrong" with this system in place of tracking and billing data usage.  What we are all basically being told is that if we want to use our iPhones the way they are actually intended, then we are going to have to pay more for it.  And many of us have been paying more.  I've seen HUGE increases in my data usage for my phone, my wife's phone and my daughter's phone.  

 

Why did they take the "Unlimited Data" usage away?  Because there is a TON of money to be made now.  AT&T is seeing substantial increased revenue and that part is simple economics for the most part - whether we like it or not.  But it's not right.  I bought iPhones to be able to use them.  I signed up for a Voice/Data plan that fits the needs of my family.  We have all done the right things in making sure nothing extraordinary happens with our usage.  We feel we are using it as it was intended and we were told by both Apple people and AT&T people that the way we use it, we would not see a difference in our monthly bill... but WE ARE!  It's aweful.  

 

It's sad when we are using one on the most impressive pieces of modern technology, that we paid for, and we can't use it to it's fullest potential without paying even MORE!

 

OK, I'm off my soapbox.  I'll keep following this thread and others to see if any better results come of it.

Message 50 of 99
Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@Screamus wrote:

There is without a doubt something "wrong" with this system in place of tracking and billing data usage.  What we are all basically being told is that if we want to use our iPhones the way they are actually intended, then we are going to have to pay more for it.  And many of us have been paying more.  I've seen HUGE increases in my data usage for my phone, my wife's phone and my daughter's phone.  

 

Why did they take the "Unlimited Data" usage away?  Because there is a TON of money to be made now.  AT&T is seeing substantial increased revenue and that part is simple economics for the most part - whether we like it or not.  But it's not right.  I bought iPhones to be able to use them.  I signed up for a Voice/Data plan that fits the needs of my family.  We have all done the right things in making sure nothing extraordinary happens with our usage.  We feel we are using it as it was intended and we were told by both Apple people and AT&T people that the way we use it, we would not see a difference in our monthly bill... but WE ARE!  It's aweful.  

 

It's sad when we are using one on the most impressive pieces of modern technology, that we paid for, and we can't use it to it's fullest potential without paying even MORE!

 

OK, I'm off my soapbox.  I'll keep following this thread and others to see if any better results come of it.


Are you on a 200-300MB plan?

 

 

Message 51 of 99
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

Two lines are on a 200MB plan (mine being one of them) and my wife has unlimited as she was "grandfathered" in from her previous phone and didn't change her plan.
Message 52 of 99
Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@Screamus wrote:
Two lines are on a 200MB plan (mine being one of them) and my wife has unlimited as she was "grandfathered" in from her previous phone and didn't change her plan.

That makes more sense. With the iOS5 upgrade pushing former SMS/MMS data to actual regual data via iMessages, 200MB is going to be pretty tight for anything but the most casual of uses.

 

Honestly, there shouldn't be a 200MB option - 2-3GB is plenty for all but the most extreme video streamer. 200-300mb you'll need to put a very tight leash on use.

Message 53 of 99
Explorer

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@ishmaelaz wrote:

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


Chris - Did you ever get a resolution on this? I've got you beat. I have two iPhone 4S units which historically average under 100 MB/Month usage.

 

Now, AT&T sees about 3 GB/Month - iOS still sees about 100 MB/Month. On both phones! Started March 13th. We also have two iPhone 4 units, and they are not exhibiting the behavior. None have ever been jailbroken, all are on iOS 5.1

 

I've reset network settings, wiped the phones and set back up, still seeing the behavior.

 

iOS sees about 3MB per day of cellular data, AT&T reports closer to 100MB per day.

 

I have tickets open at Apple and AT&T, but so far they're stumped too. Something is hammering the phones with data usage, and iOS Cellular Data isn't detecting it. I know your post is old, but I would love to know if you fixed it - and how.

 

Thanks!

Message 54 of 99
Professor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@dotme wrote:

@ishmaelaz wrote:

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


Chris - Did you ever get a resolution on this? I've got you beat. I have two iPhone 4S units which historically average under 100 MB/Month usage.

 

Now, AT&T sees about 3 GB/Month - iOS still sees about 100 MB/Month. On both phones! Started March 13th. We also have two iPhone 4 units, and they are not exhibiting the behavior. None have ever been jailbroken, all are on iOS 5.1

 

I've reset network settings, wiped the phones and set back up, still seeing the behavior.

 

iOS sees about 3MB per day of cellular data, AT&T reports closer to 100MB per day.

 

I have tickets open at Apple and AT&T, but so far they're stumped too. Something is hammering the phones with data usage, and iOS Cellular Data isn't detecting it. I know your post is old, but I would love to know if you fixed it - and how.

 

Thanks!


"Do you have a microcell at home"?

Message 56 of 99
Explorer

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

The message I replied to was removed.

 

 

[Edited to comply with Guidelines]

Message 55 of 99
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@johninsj wrote:

@dotme wrote:

@ishmaelaz wrote:

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


Chris - Did you ever get a resolution on this? I've got you beat. I have two iPhone 4S units which historically average under 100 MB/Month usage.

 

I got resolution to this a few days after I reported it here.  I went into my local store ready to cancel service and switch elsewhere.  I spoke to a manager who said there was some form of known problem going on like this.  I don't know what he actually did, but the next day, data usage went back to normal and it has stayed in the expected range ever since.  He also got the overage charge credited back on my account.

 

Chris

Message 57 of 99
Voyager

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

You're the first person I've found that got a resolution to this issue. Any chance you could find out what the manager did to fix it? Thanks!

Message 58 of 99
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage


@danwallie wrote:

You're the first person I've found that got a resolution to this issue. Any chance you could find out what the manager did to fix it? Thanks!


The problem started when I got my 4s on my accoount and had my previous 4 assigned to my son's account.  I could never find a clue to the particular cause, and the AT&T store manager who helped me last fall didn't elaborate, so unfortunately, I don't know what actually happened to fix it in my case. I'm sorry I don't know more as I definitely understand the frustration of being in this situation.

 

Chris

Message 59 of 99
Tutor

Re: iPhone 4s excessive cellular data usage

I have my Mobile internet service TURNED OFF, yet only owning the phone for 2 weeks I have only 64KB left to use before Dec 11. 2012.  I do only have the 200MB plan. I sure need the bigger pkg. but if I did most of it would be wasted since I am at home most of the time.  I looked online and it seems there is no mobile data being used at home, only my wifi. But wow AT&T you sure make it hard to be your customer. But here in this small town this is THE ONLY SERVICE that works. I have no idea how they did that.  But I am only looking for an app that will tell me how much mobile data I have used. I had a great one on my Android phone, called Killer dog or something like that. LOL But it let me know second by second how much data I had left for each month, it also had a setting that restarted in on my new date that I only had to set once.  How on earth does a phone like IPHONE excel in so many areas, yet the simplest of things are ignored or passed over or what?  It seems to me the people working on the Iphones are so smart they cannot see the logical parts of a cell phone that are needed. Like an arrow back or forth key? Seriously? You have to go back to square one when an arrow key would take care of it?   But I could live with that if they would work with us a little more on the data. But hey we keep paying for it, so they have no worries do they?  I bet their favorite customer is families with teens!

Message 60 of 99
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