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Phones eating data updating.

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Phones eating data updating.

We have four people on our plan. Two of the phones are Iphone 4s, one 5 and one 6.  The two 4s never go over data (okay they are us old folks) and the two newer phones (ie the kids) usually are higher in usage but not over. But about twice a year the 5 and 6 phone go crazy updating every three hours and use up all the data while the kids are sleeping in our house with ATT wifi.  We have racked up 2 overuse additions in a week with the kids doing nothing new to their phones.  I am so tired of calling and having to deal with this.  Is it because the wifi in our house  (ATT) is terrible or is it the phones?  Every time I call it is the same nonsense....change the wifi setting on the phone for each app etc. But because I lose my mind when the phones use too much data, the kids already have their settings in a way that 90% of the time it works without a hitch, and then it doesn't and we make donations to the ATT fund.   Help!!!

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Message 1 of 12
Anonymous
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Accepted by patchison
‎08-20-2016 12:14 PM

Re: Phones eating data updating.

On each iPhone go to Settings > iTunes & App Store disable Automatic Downloads. Also disable Use Cellular Data for automatic downloads...

 

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Message 2 of 12
Professor
Solution
Accepted by topic author
Accepted by patchison
‎08-20-2016 12:14 PM

Re: Phones eating data updating.

Apple's newer operating system turns off the wifi radio when the phone is asleep (screen is dark) and not plugged in. This is Apple's way to extend battery life. When you look a the screen, you see the phone is on wifi. When you can't see the screen because it is dark, it is NOT connected to wifi. Any streaming (music, for example) is not over wifi. Push notifications (weather, messaging, mail) are also using cellular data.



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Message 3 of 12
Tutor

Re: Phones eating data updating.

It is frustrating that this is an ongoing occurance. It appears to happen when ATT updates their data plans. My kids have not changed their settings since the last time we did this a few months ago.  I am ready to switch truthfully so we will be looking at other plans.

Message 4 of 12
ACE - Sage

Re: Phones eating data updating.


@patchison wrote:

It is frustrating that this is an ongoing occurance. It appears to happen when ATT updates their data plans. My kids have not changed their settings since the last time we did this a few months ago.  I am ready to switch truthfully so we will be looking at other plans.


Im not sure what you mean by "ATT updates the data plan". 

 

This is how all carriers collect, record and report data use.....

Data reporting is not done in real time. The actual data use could have been hours, or even days earlier. Towers often report data back in 3 hour intervals during non peak hours.
Towers note when a connection to a particular IMEI/ESN (which is unique to your phone and SIM card) opens, pass to a new tower and closes. Once it closes, it sends data totals back.
The connection closes when you leave a tower's area, connect to wifi, turn an app off, turn off your phone.

 

Your phone and carrier may not record data in the same way due to rounding. Your phone independently records its data use and should be within a hundred mbs of the totals reported by your carrier towers. Your carrier makes an effort to include data used in a billing period in that billing period rather than start your next bill period already with a chunk missing. This often causes the complaint of "inflated use the last day of billing period."

 

The analogy I use to explain data use is, your data plan is like a checking account, your phone is like the checkbook and debit card. Purchases made during the day are not deducted from your checking account at the moment you write the check or swipe the debit card.
Each tower = a point of purchase.
ATT towers = debit card purchase, often recorded as 'pending' and will be deducted soon.
Partner towers = check, no way of knowing when it will be deducted. International roaming data can take weeks to be deducted.
The delay in towers reporting back to ATT computers is several hours. Partner towers take longer.
Just like your checking account, the data isn't reported back for several hours, often overnight, and then deducted from your data plan.

If you have an android phone, there is an option in settings to provide a warning and a cap. It has to be set slightly below your cap to be sure not to go over.  iPhones must have the data statistics reset with each new billing period.

 

 

 

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
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Message 5 of 12
ACE - Sage

Re: Phones eating data updating.

Further problems with iPhones specifically is they stop connecting to wifi, even thought he wifi fan will appear, with cellular data off, the phone cannot connect to the Internet.   

This seems to occur after iOS updates.  

 

Resetting network settings and and signing in to wifi again may fix it.  I have found doing a factory reset does a better job.  

The iphones I my account have used between 3 - 11 gigs of data.  Every few months a factory reset seems to get wifi working again, and the month data use goes back down.  In some cases more than one factory reset was required.  

 

Some users have found replacing their SIM card resolved the problem.

 

I suggest trying the easiest and as a last resort, back up, reset and restore the phones.

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 12
Tutor

Re: Phones eating data updating.

The analogy fails when you realize that my checking account isn't being debited while I sleep and my checkbook is closed on the dresser not being used, or better yet, that the cheaper, older phones are not having this issue, just the more expensive phones that have the ability to have their data logged even when the button is clicked to NOT use data when it isn't connected to wifi. Our iphone 4s do not have this issue, ever. It is an argument to never update a phone. It should not be my problem to reset the phone at the end of every billing period to avoid charges that are generated by updates that I have already declined. It's ridiculous. I should only have to say no once.



Message 7 of 12
ACE - Sage

Re: Phones eating data updating.

@patchison

Of course it is.  

Are you saying a check written is instantly debited from your account balance?  NO.  Nor is it debited from your account when the check is deposited into another account, unless it's the same bank.  Typically checks clear is 2-3 days if deposited immediately. 

 Debit card purchases and checks almost always clear your account overnight.  Watch your account.  Check it in the evening, and then the next morning for a few days.  You will see debit purchases as "pending".  And checks written may not show for days, then will be debited overnight.  

 

The 4s is a 3G phone.  It isn't capable of using data at the same speed as LTE phones.  

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 8 of 12
Tutor

Re: Phones eating data updating.

My point is that when the phone is sleeping and the decline data button has been set that should suffice. It should NOT be something that has to be reset every billing cycle. I get it that there is a lag. The point is that the data stream is not traceable like a check is so there is no way we can document which app is using the data and how we can control it other than turn the phone off completely which negates having a phone to use for an alarm or for calls in an emergency. If it was a necessity for ALL phones, the older phones would do it too and they do not. So it isn't an analogy that works in it's entirety except for the fact that there is a time lag. And my debit card use shows up instantly as do my electronic deposits so there is no lag. I just don't see the need for there to be a data usage that I didn't authorize and if I did I would like to see the actual debit from an vendor like I would with any other thing that charges my accounts. It's a charge I can't actually trace thus control and that is my beef.




Message 9 of 12
Tutor

Re: Phones eating data updating.

The real question is if the Iphone is even worth the hassle. The old iphones don't have this problem so it is an upgrade for the new phones that is unacceptable.


Message 10 of 12
ACE - Sage
Solution
Accepted by Community Manager (Community Manager)
Accepted by ATTDmitriyCM
‎09-07-2016 9:10 AM

Re: Phones eating data updating.

Yes, there is a record.  Each phone does keep a tally.

whether the iPhone is worth it to you or not is up to you.  I prefer android, but it has nothing to do with data.  I use an iPad which I like bett than android tablets (go figure).  Pictures below show what apps used how much cellular data on my iPad.  The iPhone have the same information in settings, under cellular data, scroll down....

 

Any app can be turned off for cellular data.  If you see totals under an app, it has used data.

 

image.jpeg

 

 

Turn wifi assist to OFF

 

image.jpeg

 

Look into system service...

 

image.jpeg

 

System stem services include iMessage, FaceTime, GPS, etc...

 

image.jpeg

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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Message 11 of 12
ACE - Sage

Re: Phones eating data updating.

Why the difference?  Simple.  Kids.  They do stuff we don't and use data.  Games, music, video, social media, etc....  You could swap phones and they still will rack up more data than you do.

 

I suggest you look at the phones cellular data use.  Each app the kids use that is showing over a gig in a month needs to be limited to wifi only.  Music streaming is a big data sucker, so is social media and video.  

 

 

BTW, you do not have to deal with overage, you have options.

ATT just started a new plan today (link below)

The new plan offers more data for less, but the line fee if your out of contract is a flat $20.   If you have a 2 year contract the fee stays at $40 until it complete.  

Plan has no overage charges.  Instead, when you reach your limit, the data slows to 2G speed for the rest of the month.  http://about.att.com/story/att_introduces_mobile_share_advantage.html

 

If you want to keep your existing plan (as I do) you can always login online, or my ATT app, manage the device, and turn off mobile data on the kids lines for the rest of the month.  Data will automatically turn on with the start of a new bill period.

the kids will have to turn off iMessage and text to phone number (which they should anyway to save data)

 

 

(The following is included after all posts to save typing) I don’t work for AT&T. My replies are based on experience and reading content available on the website. Our answers are honest, but not always appreciated. If you posted personal information, please edit and remove.
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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