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AT&T Users Still Complain of Data-Gobbling iPhone 5 Bug
Device Eating Cellular Data When Connected to Wi-Fi?
by Karl Bode 02:27PM Thursday Oct 25 2012
Earlier this month reports emerged that an iPhone bug was causing users to consume excess cellular data when connected to Wi-Fi, causing users to go over their usage limits. At the time all the focus was on Verizon, since they were the only U.S. carrier to acknowledge that the bug existed, Apple issuing a Verizon-specific iPhone 5 fix to resolve the issue. At the time, we saw some rumblings from AT&T users that they too had been experiencing the same data-gobbling problem, though there was no comment from AT&T.

A month later and the Consumerist has run two different pieces claiming that AT&T users are still seeing the phantom data usage problem. Numerous users (many of them grandfathered unlimited) are hitting usage ceilings, but are being told by AT&T that their usage is higher because the iPhone 5 with LTE is "more efficient" (makes obviously makes absolutely no sense). The website has numerous users with tales just like this one:
quote:
I have had a similar issue as well. I typically use ~2gb of data and this past cycle since 9/26/12 I’ve used over 4gb. The funny thing was that by 9/26/12 at 7am, while I was asleep I had already used 200mb of data. I also have an unlimited plan with AT&T and will soon be throttled to horrendous speeds.
For the moment this is all just anecdotal, but there are more than a few customers claiming that they're incurring higher usage with the iPhone 5 -- even if they're primarily using Wi-Fi. I've dropped a line to AT&T to see whether or not they can confirm there's a problem with the AT&T version of the iPhone 5.

Update: It appears it may be a problem with some Canadian users as well.

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MaynardKrebs
Heave Steve, for the good of the country
Premium
join:2009-06-17
kudos:4

More efficient for whom?

.....but are being told by AT&T that their usage is higher because the iPhone 5 with LTE is "more efficient" ....

Yes, more efficiently draining customer bank accounts

ArrayList
netbus developer
Premium
join:2005-03-19
Brighton, MA

Re: More efficient for whom?

things that are efficient typically use less. lol

The Limit
Premium
join:2007-09-25
Greensboro, NC
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Windstream

Re: More efficient for whom?

I wonder how much that dodo who said that using more data is more efficient than using less data is making. I'm tellin ya, if I didn't love what I studied, I'd just go into business admin, say a bunch of stuff, and collect my paycheck. This is why our country is doomed to fail. Lol
--
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---Victor Moll, invited talk, Tom Osler Fest (April 17, 2010)

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

Situations like these illustrate perfectly why capped data plans and smartphones simply do not mix. If everyone had unlimited plans like in the old days, the carriers would fix problems like these in record time.

Now, it is just free overage money for them.

Think before you upgrade, and look before you leap.
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elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
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Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by pnh102:

Situations like these illustrate perfectly why capped data plans and smartphones simply do not mix. If everyone had unlimited plans like in the old days, the carriers would fix problems like these in record time.

Now, it is just free overage money for them.

Wrong. So wrong.

The carriers have even greater incentive to see this problem fixed than in your good-old-days of unlimited plans. Consumers, especially Cupertino devotees, will be quick to blame the carrier, not the manufacturer, if they get overage charges.

Overage charging is designed to curb conscious use and change habits, not raise revenue. That's why thresholds are set to impact only a very small percentage of customers, and raised from time to time.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

1 edit

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by elray:

The carriers have even greater incentive to see this problem fixed than in your good-old-days of unlimited plans. Consumers, especially Cupertino devotees, will be quick to blame the carrier, not the manufacturer, if they get overage charges.

Except that in the case of some users, they are now paying the price for what is obviously a screwup outside of their control. Whether or not this is a problem with Apple or a given carrier, the customer should not be paying for or having to be inconvenienced by these problems.

Either way, with unlimited data, the user wins, and whatever the cause of the problem is, be it Apple or the carrier, they will have a far greater incentive to fix the problem, since they won't be able to immediately pass the costs of the problem down to the customer.
said by elray:

Overage charging is designed to curb conscious use and change habits, not raise revenue. That's why thresholds are set to impact only a very small percentage of customers, and raised from time to time.

If this is true, then why don't providers like Verizon and AT&T simply shut off or severely throttle the service when the user hits the cap? That would be far more effective in curbing conscious use and not raising revenue.

I will never understand how a company I pay is somehow in a position to tell me that I am to be penalized for using a level of service that they arbitrarily deem to be excessive, and "penalize" me accordingly. Who do they think they are? My mom?

Disclaimer - I currently have one Android phone with an unlimited Verizon plan and I'm still on a contract with them. When that contract runs out, I do not plan to upgrade phones through Verizon, because I do not want to go to a capped plan.
--
Romney/Ryan 2012 - Put a couple of mature adults in charge.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by pnh102:

said by elray:

The carriers have even greater incentive to see this problem fixed than in your good-old-days of unlimited plans. Consumers, especially Cupertino devotees, will be quick to blame the carrier, not the manufacturer, if they get overage charges.

Except that in the case of some users, they are now paying the price for what is obviously a screwup outside of their control. Whether or not this is a problem with Apple or a given carrier, the customer should not be paying for or having to be inconvenienced by these problems.

Which is why the carriers have a greater incentive to fix it than they would under "unlimited" plans. The customer has been wronged, won't easily forgive the sting, and doesn't really care who is technically at-fault.

said by pnh102:

said by elray:

Overage charging is designed to curb conscious use and change habits, not raise revenue. That's why thresholds are set to impact only a very small percentage of customers, and raised from time to time.

If this is true, then why don't providers like Verizon and AT&T simply shut off or severely throttle the service when the user hits the cap? That would be far more effective in curbing conscious use and not raising revenue.

I will never understand how a company I pay is somehow in a position to tell me that I am to be penalized for using a level of service that they arbitrarily deem to be excessive, and "penalize" me accordingly. Who do they think they are? My mom?

Disclaimer - I currently have one Android phone with an unlimited Verizon plan and I'm still on a contract with them. When that contract runs out, I do not plan to upgrade phones through Verizon, because I do not want to go to a capped plan.

The thresholds are admittedly arbitrary - but there has to be some limit established, that can be understood by one and all in 30 seconds, which Mom approves of.

I agree that a better model would involve notification and throttling rather than charging overages. There are carriers who offer that. Clearly, if you don't agree with the terms of your contract, you should not renew.

AVD
Respice, Adspice, Prospice
Premium
join:2003-02-06
Onion, NJ
kudos:1

1 recommendation

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by elray:

The thresholds are admittedly arbitrary - but there has to be some limit established, that can be understood by one and all in 30 seconds, which Mom approves of.

apparently my Mom is a lot smarter than yours.
--
--Standard disclaimers apply.--

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by AVD:

said by elray:

The thresholds are admittedly arbitrary - but there has to be some limit established, that can be understood by one and all in 30 seconds, which Mom approves of.

apparently my Mom is a lot smarter than yours.

Winning!

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by pnh102:

If this is true, then why don't providers like Verizon and AT&T simply shut off or severely throttle the service when the user hits the cap?

Because moron would complain that their service or phone is "broken". Then gat all mad when it's explained that they went over. Having a hard cap with high overages gets one's attention. If I know there isn't an overage just throttling I might not give a shit about going over. Remember even at 150 kbps I could still theoretically us 35 GB a month. Not to mention I'm sure there would be some technical issues with trying to do that. Also what happens when VoLTE comes out? You can't cut of data and still over voice.

You can make a point about the caps being too low for the price they charge but the days of unlimited are long over and it's simply not realistic to offer that now. Maybe in 10 years but not today.
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
Bull$shit!

Utter nonesense! I mean, it doesn't affect me, but your threshold comment is just crap. The guys are in it to make money first and foremost. Social engineering is way down on the list...
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by jjeffeory:

Bull$shit!

Utter nonesense! I mean, it doesn't affect me, but your threshold comment is just crap. The guys are in it to make money first and foremost. Social engineering is way down on the list...

You fail to understand the basic concept of goodwill.
It costs a lot to earn, but is easily burned.

Cellco would much rather sell you "unlimited" at a higher basic rent and enjoy the consistent, measurable contract income, and the average consumer will gladly pay the higher rate to lose meter-anxiety. But that model simply doesn't work with wireless broadband, where government administration of spectrum and pesky physics get in the way.
Lamiel

join:2008-04-05
Saint Johns, MI
Reviews:
·Skyweb Online

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by elray:

said by jjeffeory:

Bull$shit!

Utter nonesense! I mean, it doesn't affect me, but your threshold comment is just crap. The guys are in it to make money first and foremost. Social engineering is way down on the list...

You fail to understand the basic concept of goodwill.
It costs a lot to earn, but is easily burned.

Cellco would much rather sell you "unlimited" at a higher basic rent and enjoy the consistent, measurable contract income, and the average consumer will gladly pay the higher rate to lose meter-anxiety. But that model simply doesn't work with wireless broadband, where government administration of spectrum and pesky physics get in the way.

When you say "pesky physics" I assume you're reffering to the so-called "spectrum crisis", correct? There is no spectrum crisis. There is only a backhaul crisis, brought on by the carriers' reluctance to invest in network improvements. The fact that these carriers openly state that the vast majority of their users consume only a small amount of bandwidth per account is ample evidence of this. If caps were about protecting the network from congestion, throttling the top 2% of smartphone junkies would make far more sense than decreasing available bandwidth and increasing costs for the bulk of their customers. It's all a shell game. Don't be fooled.
--
Core2Quad Q9450 @ 3.4GHz, XFX 780i SLI mobo, MSI GTX 560 OC, 4GB Patriot Viper DDR2-1066, Samsung 20x optical, Samsung F3 1TB HDD, Antec TP3 650 watt PSU, CoolerMaster Centurion 5 case, Win7 Home Premium 64 bit...
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

said by Lamiel:

When you say "pesky physics" I assume you're reffering to the so-called "spectrum crisis", correct? There is no spectrum crisis. There is only a backhaul crisis, brought on by the carriers' reluctance to invest in network improvements. The fact that these carriers openly state that the vast majority of their users consume only a small amount of bandwidth per account is ample evidence of this. If caps were about protecting the network from congestion, throttling the top 2% of smartphone junkies would make far more sense than decreasing available bandwidth and increasing costs for the bulk of their customers. It's all a shell game. Don't be fooled.

Haven't been fooled yet.

There are carriers that throttle instead of charging overages, which I agree with you is a better practice. I suggest you vote with your wallet and migrate to one of them.

There is most certainly a spectrum crisis. Backhaul upgrades are not without cost, but they are achievable. Squeezing 100x more data through the same local tower airwaves on a few 6 Mhz blocks... not likely.
Lamiel

join:2008-04-05
Saint Johns, MI
Reviews:
·Skyweb Online

Re: Exactly Why Capped Plans Suck

100x more data through the same local tower? Of course not. 100x more data through 100 more towers? Big difference. Now obviously, I don't expect the carriers to increase the number of their towers one hundred-fold. But we don't need that now anyway. Just doubling the number of towers with dedicated hardline backhaul would eliminate the congestion they're whining about right now. Too much investment? Okay. Just increasing the number of towers by one quarter would remove any logical defense for caps and overages (that's assuming they even have a logical defense now, which is highly suspect). The point is that there's no shortage of spectrum - there's just a shortage of towers with backhaul. If you and I are connecting on the same frequency, but to two different towers, ten miles apart, we are not congesting each other's bandwidth.
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Twaddle

@sbcglobal.net
How do you figure ?"Overage charging is designed to curb conscious use and change habits, not raise revenue."

What a load of bovine excrement! The carriers want to/will charge you as much as they can for as little data as they have to handle. Their overage charges are a way to add bottom line revenue without any capital investment. Caps and cap overage charges are not there to curb conscious use and change habits because the carriers want their customers to have a warm fuzzy feeling they're there to generate MORE revenue plain and simple. IF every user suddenly minimized their usage, the carriers would still bitch about the amount of data being too high! Why have a "smart phone" if you are PENALIZED for using its features, features that somehow consumes data when not even being used. AT&T should be all over the great "APPLE" if there is indeed a bug as reported by users especially after Verizon had the same issue!

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
said by elray:

said by pnh102:

Situations like these illustrate perfectly why capped data plans and smartphones simply do not mix. If everyone had unlimited plans like in the old days, the carriers would fix problems like these in record time.

Now, it is just free overage money for them.

Wrong. So wrong.

The carriers have even greater incentive to see this problem fixed than in your good-old-days of unlimited plans. Consumers, especially Cupertino devotees, will be quick to blame the carrier, not the manufacturer, if they get overage charges.

Overage charging is designed to curb conscious use and change habits, not raise revenue. That's why thresholds are set to impact only a very small percentage of customers, and raised from time to time.

LOL.
Expand your moderator at work

FFH
Premium
join:2002-03-03
Tavistock NJ
kudos:5

iOS 6.0.1 supposed to fix recent issues

A patch version of the iOS 6 OS is supposed to be out shortly and is purported to fix some outstanding problems. Maybe this will be addressed then.

»www.gottabemobile.com/2012/10/22···e-dates/
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Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

Why contact Att and not Apple

"I've dropped a line to AT&T to see whether or not they can confirm there's a problem with the AT&T version of the iPhone 5."

AT&T didn't build the iPhone and the fix clearly needs to come from Apple and not them, so shouldn't you try to contact Apple instead?

David
I start new work on
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join:2002-05-30
Granite City, IL
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Reviews:
·DIRECTV
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Re: Why contact Att and not Apple

said by Dodge:

AT&T didn't build the iPhone and the fix clearly needs to come from Apple and not them, so shouldn't you try to contact Apple instead?

That would make sense... reverse that line of thought.

93388818
It's cool, I'm takin it back
Premium
join:2000-03-14
Dallas, TX

1 recommendation

because if Karl had called Apple, nobody would've talked to him

David
I start new work on
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Re: Why contact Att and not Apple

said by 93388818:

because if Karl had called Apple, nobody would've talked to him

LMAO!!!! that's fantastic...
jjeffeory

join:2002-12-04
USA
Clearly you've never called Apple. Each mobile provider makes tweeks and customizations to the iphone software and you should call THEM, not Apple. I mean, Apple does no wrong!

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

2 edits
said by Dodge:

"I've dropped a line to AT&T to see whether or not they can confirm there's a problem with the AT&T version of the iPhone 5."

AT&T didn't build the iPhone and the fix clearly needs to come from Apple and not them, so shouldn't you try to contact Apple instead?

Because you purchased the phone from ATT.

I highly doubt this is an apple issue, and I am almost willing to bet the Canadian users experiencing the same problem have a different branded version of the same crapware that is miscounting for ATT.

ilikeme
I live in a van down by the river.
Premium
join:2002-08-27
Sugar Land, TX
kudos:1

Seems to be on the 4S also

I have noticed my 4S using phantom data over wifi when connected to my mobile hot spot also. It did not do this before iOS 6.

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
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·Frontier Communi..

Re: Seems to be on the 4S also

I can pretty much confirm this. The 4s on our data plan with VZW seems to be eating data even when it is on Wi-Fi from time to time. Or, it is disconnecting from Wi-Fi when it doesn't need or have to. The Wi-Fi radio doesn't use much power when it's idle, so I don't see a need to have to shut it off.

King Boo

@charter.com
No worries thats a feature of iOS 6.

Smith6612
Premium,MVM
join:2008-02-01
North Tonawanda, NY
kudos:24
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
·Frontier Communi..

Re: Seems to be on the 4S also

The feature that is supposed to offload the net traffic to Cellular if Wi-Fi quality is poor? To be honest, the Wi-Fi the iPhone here uses is of significantly better quality than the 3G quality in the area. Even if the latency on the Wi-Fi is 300ms because of us destroying the connection, it beats 200kbps at 120ms ping on the 3G since the iPhone will be able to get at least 1Mbps. Most of the time when I suspect the iPhone is racking up data, it could be getting 4.7Mbps.

I know in the Dev Builds Apple had an option to enable or disable that. They took it out before it went officially live. I wonder why.

True

@wdc.com
dito normaly i have about 500 megs since 6 hit i have been a bit over a gig. i have unlimited so its no hurting me.. but it is odd.

wificell

@csiweb.net

What ever happened to wifi+cellular

Could be remnants of wifi+cellular option that was in the iOS 6 beta. I've noticed some podcast apps (like iCatcher) have an option to allow simultaneous downloads, up to 3 podcasts at a time, 2 on wifi, one on cellular. so, the coding is there for the iPhone to do multi downloads.

»appleinsider.com/article/?id=20376
tragik74

join:2012-10-12
Flushing, NY

Re: What ever happened to wifi+cellular

from Apple's point view "there is no problem with iphone or ios"

Nightmare

@uhc.com

Re: What ever happened to wifi+cellular

Apple: your holding it wrong.. no wait that was the antenna issue. Your holding it wrong... no wait wait... that was the camera with a purple hue... AH! Your wifi doesn't work because your holding it wrong.. there its your fault, not Apples.

Oh and the "bug" is a feature that helps ATT rack up the $$$$$ and make there data tiers so profitable. ATT + APPLE = team work to screw over the blind Isheep
NateCohen

join:2005-10-10
Schenectady, NY

Using it wrong

Haven't you guys heard you're using the phone wrong?

MrMaster
jetsetter
Premium
join:2000-12-16
St Thomas, VI

gain or loss in subscribers

So I see that endadget and bgr show subscriber gains albeit different numbers. BBR shows a loss.

Which is it
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n2jtx

join:2001-01-13
Glen Head, NY

4S and 5.1.1

I guess I am sticking with iOS 5.1.1 longer than I anticipated. I was planning to upgrade once Google released their Google Maps application but if there is still a confirmed WiFi bug, then I might as well wait until 6.0.1 or whatever comes out as a patch.
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dib22

join:2002-01-27
Kansas City, MO

the verizon issue was fixed

Why don't they push out a fix to prioritize IPV4 over IPV6 like they did for verizon?

The_ANoN

@charter.com

Similar issue

Well I have a similar problem, but with a different phone.. I have a Samsung Infuse on AT&T and I notice very frequently, even with my Wi-Fi turned on, the phone still uses 4G. The phone is supposed automatically connect to Wi-Fi but it just doesnt. It doesnt really affect my 2GB limit, but I find it pretty odd that it happens

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

1 recommendation

Re: the verizon issue was fixed

said by dib22:

Why don't they push out a fix to prioritize IPV4 over IPV6 like they did for verizon?

People on the Verizon forums at their website still claim to have issues even after the fix. Also that fix is dumb. They should allow people to shut off IPv6 totally. That would solve the issue 100%
djcrazy
Premium
join:2009-08-05
Minneapolis, MN
Reviews:
·Comcast
·T-Mobile US

LOL!

Happy with my Galaxy S 3 with unlimited 4G on T-Mobile. AT&T and Verizon are the definition of corporate greed and lousy customer service. The Galaxy S 3 is clearly better than the Iphone 5. The T-Mobile unlimited 4G is really unlimited too, no throttling after a certain amount.
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY

Re: LOL!

If you live near a major city. Otherwise good luck getting any coverage.
EngineerDave

join:2001-08-27
Birmingham, AL
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse

iPhone disconnects from WiFi when it goes to sleep

I don't know for sure but I believe the iPhone shuts off it's WiFi interface when it goes to sleep. When I press the home button to wake my iPhone 4 (iOS 5.1), I can see the 3G symbol for a half second the it changes to the WiFi signal.

This would explain why folks are seeing cellular data use in the middle of the night when the phone is not being used.

Just a thought...

Morac
Cat god

join:2001-08-30
Riverside, NJ
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: iPhone disconnects from WiFi when it goes to sleep

It's always done that when not plugged in, to save battery life, but it's supposed to re-associate with Wi-Fi when it wants to transfer anything and in fact that's easily seen by monitoring WiFi connections.

Also note all push notification traffic defaults to going over 3G even when a Wi-Fi connection is established. I'm not sure why Apple did this, but since push notifications are only a few KB each at most, it's not a big deal. Still it's something to be aware of. The only way to get iOS devices to use WiFi for push is to disable cellular data.

Finally I've had cases with my iPad 2 dropping my Wi-Fi connection and switching to 3G when I'm at home. I then have to go to the Wireless settings and tap my network to re-establish.
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