U.S. iPhone users reporting phantom data usage | iLounge News

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U.S. iPhone users reporting phantom data usage

A number of U.S. iPhone users are complaining of recurring mystery data usage appearing on their AT&T accounts. According to an Apple Support discussions thread, the mystery charges appear to be occurring late at night, typically between 1:00 and 3:00 a.m. Some users report that these late night data sessions have reached as high as 70MB, theoretically ruling out the possibility of simple statistics uploading, as one user points out. None of the users reporting problems has yet been able to identify the culprit, and neither AT&T nor Apple has been able to offer any explanation.

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Comments

1

this has been going on with BOTH my iphones for quite some time. not a big deal with unlimited, but as soon as we get stuck on these new plans, I will scream to ATT on it.. come on roll over data!!!!!

Posted by john on June 8, 2010 at 12:14 PM (CDT)

2

Ditto,  Just looked at my bill 2am to 3am every night
43 KB up to 3.1 MB On phone now with ATT

Posted by Rick on June 8, 2010 at 12:18 PM (CDT)

3

PS. it is Black Berry’s too.  Wife’s phone has same 2am charges but smaller KB’s used

Posted by Rick on June 8, 2010 at 12:22 PM (CDT)

4

My father has his iPhone on T-Mobile and no data but the online site shows this data like 1-2 kb around that time of the night.
However T-Mobile isn’t charging him
I don’t know why either.
I was assuming it was the phone calling home to apple, like microsoft does with windows.

Posted by Marcus on June 8, 2010 at 1:02 PM (CDT)

5

Don’t worry, it isn’t like your daily phone call list, GPS tracked movement and web surfing habits are being uploaded to the government for analysis.


j/k

-CF

Posted by Charles Farley on June 8, 2010 at 1:06 PM (CDT)

6

Aha!  I posted about this over in the forums just a few days ago.  It’s very odd, and so far every friend I’ve asked to check has also found this on their bills.

They will have to address this . . . you can’t put people on a 200MB plan and then have the phone use up 25% of that on it’s own.

Posted by MrTim on June 8, 2010 at 1:56 PM (CDT)

7

“Don’t worry, it isn’t like your daily phone call list, GPS tracked movement and web surfing habits are being uploaded to the government for analysis.”


How do you know that this isn’t happening? Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get me! <grin>

Posted by Todd Eastman on June 8, 2010 at 2:04 PM (CDT)

8

I too have recently discovered this.  The largest download was 101mb at 1:30am!!!  I was trying to determine my average monthly data usage over the last 6 months.  Need to find out why!

Posted by Joshua Boyd on June 8, 2010 at 2:38 PM (CDT)

9

I think I know why.
It’s the anti-phishing database. It updates when the iPhone is plugged in, after a prolonged period of inactivity.

Posted by Sam G on June 8, 2010 at 3:01 PM (CDT)

10

Having looked at my usage chart for May two things stand out: 1) most days I have only one data charge - at the above mentioned time. 2) I know that I wasn’t using my iPhone at that time but I was online each day to check email, search Google, look at maps, etc. There are certain days I can pinpoint specific data usage but see no charge on the chart.

This leads me to believe that on most days AT&T aggregates the data usage to a single charge and posts it in the early AM when its US computers are at their lowest use.

Posted by david on June 8, 2010 at 3:38 PM (CDT)

11

I have the same thing.  never noticed this before.

06/01   02:23 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   3440KB

06/02   02:23 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   3922KB

06/03   02:41 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   6788KB

06/04   02:46 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   626KB

06/05   02:11 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   137KB

06/07   02:09 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   1913KB

06/08   02:08 AM     phone     Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   829KB

Posted by snoop on June 8, 2010 at 11:04 PM (CDT)

12

I’ve never gone over 100mb. Last billing period I hit 250mb so I looked and found 33 transmissions around 2am for a total of 170mb.

I emailed AT&T and got this response,

“The iPhone is a data centered device that is constantly connecting to the data network for updates and to retrieve information. These transfers are from your device retrieving “push” notifications for things such as email, apps, etc. Unfortunately, we are unable to verify exactly what is being transferred.”

Posted by Jason on June 9, 2010 at 10:03 AM (CDT)

13

>> Unfortunately, we are unable to verify exactly what is being transferred.

AT&T knows EXACTLY what is being transferred. They just won’t tell the public what they are uploading and downloading to your device.

Posted by Bill Warren on June 9, 2010 at 8:46 PM (CDT)

14

I just looked at my bill, and I’m showing a charge for every day this month at around 1:45am.  I’m starting to think that AT&T is merely grouping all data usage for the day into one item.  I think this because I don’t have any data usage showing up for during the day this month, even though I have used it at work plenty of times.  Maybe it would be too difficult/confusing for AT&T to list data usage when it occurs?

Posted by Bill on June 10, 2010 at 9:48 AM (CDT)

15

I was just checking my data usage via AT&T’s website and found that I had many of these phantom data usages on my account many during the 2AM hour.  Now, small usage wouldn’t be a problem, but i have one particular usage of over 300MB!!!  Is there anything i can do about this.  Moving to the new plans may be a real problem if this keeps up.

Posted by Tyler on June 10, 2010 at 2:15 PM (CDT)

16

This is my data usage for my latest billing cycle.  How can this happen?

06/09   02:21 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   10688KB

06/08   02:34 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   338469KB

06/07   02:48 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   12107KB

06/06   02:40 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   27635KB

06/05   02:40 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   3836KB

06/04   02:16 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   1257KB

06/03   02:16 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   1861KB

06/02   02:17 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   988KB

06/01   02:36 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   2909KB

05/31   02:36 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   858KB

05/30   02:25 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   7967KB

05/29   02:25 AM   phone   Internet/MEdia Net   Sent   2837KB

Posted by Tyler on June 10, 2010 at 2:20 PM (CDT)

17

Like I mentioned earlier, I’m pretty sure that what AT&T is doing is collecting the amount used throughout the day and transmitting that number during the middle of the night.  I’m also pretty sure of this because I have similar data usage numbers showing up in the middle of the night, when my phone is connected to wifi.

Tyler-  I bet that if you look back at what you did on 6/6, you’ll see that you had high usage during the day, which wasn’t then reported until the middle of the night.

Posted by Bill on June 10, 2010 at 3:35 PM (CDT)

18

If it is AT&T posting a charge seems like they would easily comment on their page that is what they are doing, or simply say totaled usage on the bill.  However what is strange is this.  I have only have my iphone for 4 days now.  My wife put 20mb of data on it day 1.  I know the minutes were not tallied.  They were listed when they occured and nothing happened that AM.  Every other day I only see that charge in the AM.

Posted by Steven on June 11, 2010 at 11:30 AM (CDT)

19

I believe Bill (@14 & 17) is correct.  I turned off WiFi for the past 4 days and kept Mail fetching turned on 24-hours a day.  While push was enabled, my data usage was reported in 2 big lumps per day: ~1:30 AM and ~1:30PM, even though it had been used (not just for mail) throughout the day.  When push was disabled but fetch set to 15 minutes, my data was reported in approx. 15 minute intervals throughout the day and no mysterious lumps appeared.  So I suspect that it’s just a reporting artifact with AT&T- one that might be complicated by push notifications (which maintain a constant connection to the server- so when do you report the data usage if there’s no discrete connection to access the data network?  Apparently once or twice a day).

Posted by Dyvim on June 14, 2010 at 1:23 PM (CDT)

20

I have to disagree with the concept of usage being bulked - I have two iphones (one for me and one for husband) and this phantom usage only appears on his phone.  Also even though i use data slightly more than him his data usage appears 10x more than mine - those 2-3am data usage total more than 2,029,000 kb! I called at&t and they were unaware of any issues but did see my point and are investigating.

Posted by ayanna on June 21, 2010 at 10:00 AM (CDT)

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