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iPhone 5 confusing Wi-Fi data with Cellular?

12577 Views 31 Replies Latest reply: Oct 24, 2012 1:23 PM by hugahorse RSS
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TechnoSam Calculating status...
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Sep 21, 2012 9:07 PM

I bought my iPhone 5 just a few hours ago. When it was set-up, naturally it used 4G to access the Internet. Once I got home, I connected to my home Wi-Fi.

 

It is my understanding that the iPhone will always prefer Wi-Fi to 3G or 4G. Plus, the entire night while I used it, I never saw anything other than the WiFi symbol in the corner.

 

I got a text message from Verizon saying that I had used 75% of my allowed data. (2GB on the plan, but it is prorated) I checked MyVerizon, and it said I had used 427 MB of Cellular Data!! I clicked a link to open a detailed chart, which informed me of only four instances of Cellular data, which totaled up at 1.8 MB. This is a number that makes sense.

 

So I turned off Cell Data entirely, but left the Wi-Fi on, and continued to download videos from YouTube. Moments later, I got another text from Verizon saying I had used all my prorated data! I checked and Cellular Data was still off! The note even said "With this turned off, all data will be restricted to Wi-Fi"! So I clearly didn't use Cell data, but Verizon thought that I did! Now I'm over my limit and possibly in huge trouble.

 

The figures given seem consistent with my overall usage, though 99% of this usage was on Wi-Fi. I would stake my life on that fact. No joke. Is it possible that my Wi-Fi data is somehow being confused with Cell Data, even though it's turned off?

 

In the morning, I'm going to visit the store that I bought it from. However, any info that you guys can give me would really help.

 

Thanks.

iPhone 5, iOS 6
  • randers4 Level 9 Level 9 (53,030 points)
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    Sep 21, 2012 9:15 PM (in response to TechnoSam)

    If I were you I would take the phone to a Verizon store and ask them to explain the discrepancy.  Maybe something's wrong on there end.

  • Juice Searls Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2012 9:26 PM (in response to TechnoSam)

    A feature of iOS 6 is that when your Wifi connection isn't providing Internet access (say, you're on the local network but can't get through to the Internet), the phone gracefully falls back on the celullar data network. Prior to iOS 6 you had to manually disconnect or turn off Wifi when your local network wasn't providing Internet access.

     

    It appears you've just stumbled upon a significant downside to that feature, in that if it falls back silently onto the cellular network, you can burn through more of your quota without realizing it.    

  • randers4 Level 9 Level 9 (53,030 points)
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    Sep 21, 2012 9:29 PM (in response to Juice Searls)

    Are you sure about that?  Cellular + wifi was on the last iOS 6 beta but the articles I've read say it didn't make it into the final version.

  • macvol88 Calculating status...
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    Sep 21, 2012 9:34 PM (in response to TechnoSam)

    Wow, glad I saw this post. I've been posting in the iPhone 5 WiFi issues threads for protected networks for a little while now. This post explains the "flaky" WiFi access people are having on WPA/WPA2 networks. I just took a look at my cellular data usage for today: 122MB! It appears that the flaky network access I was getting was actually LTE gracefully taking over.

     

    I believe one Apple engineer said "LTE can even be faster than your home wireless connection." That's great Apple, but I would at least like the opportunity to use protected WiFi on my iPhone.

  • randers4 Level 9 Level 9 (53,030 points)
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    Sep 21, 2012 9:43 PM (in response to macvol88)

    Don't be so sure about the "gracefully taking over" part.  Cellulare Plus Wifi, the feature you are talking about, was in iOS 6 beta 4 but the setting for this is no where to be seen in the final iOS 6 release, there is no mention of this in the iOS 6 user manual and articles on the web have commented that this feature was removed from the final version.  I see no evidence that this feature is in the final version of iOS 6.

  • macvol88 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2012 10:07 PM (in response to randers4)

    Just tested your hypothesis.

     

    Started out with 122MB cellular usage and enabled WiFi for my protected network. Signal was good, but data connection was spotty at best. Started up the YouTube app and tried watching videos. Again, there was little to no loading of videos. All the sudden, my connection was great. My status bar still showed me connected to WiFi, not LTE. I waited for an entire 3 minute video to load, then I re-checked my cellular usage: 125MB!

     

    I have tested this several times now. It's a little more than a coincidence if you ask me.

  • randers4 Level 9 Level 9 (53,030 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2012 10:11 PM (in response to macvol88)

    All I can say is that it isn't documented anywhere and the setting from Beta 4 (see image below) is not on the phone.  In only says Cellular Data.

     

    Wi-Fi Plus Cellular Setting in Beta 4.png

  • macvol88 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 21, 2012 10:21 PM (in response to randers4)

    My theory:

     

    iOS 6 GM was seeded on September 12th. I'm assuming that's when they removed the WiFi Plus Cellular feature. Apple had probably already packaged millions of iPhone 5s by that time. I'm thinking the version of "iOS 6" running on iPhone 5s is more like "iOS 6 beta 2 or 3".

  • pwdougherty Calculating status...
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    Sep 22, 2012 12:01 AM (in response to TechnoSam)

    I am having same issue. Cellular data count is going up, even though I am actively using phone on wifi N from my AP extreme router... Went from 1 --> 50MB with two YouTube vids just now.. We need official answers.. To me it seems apple took out the settings control of wifi plus cellular, but for "user experience" left it active behind the scenes!!!

  • pwdougherty Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 22, 2012 12:03 AM (in response to pwdougherty)

    My iOS build is 10A405 so I know it's not a beta version... GM was 10A403

  • cdbarreras Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Sep 22, 2012 3:37 AM (in response to TechnoSam)

    I am having the same issue. I am going to call Verizon this morning. We purchased two new phones and only used them on LTE for about an hour while we went to dinner. All the other time we were in our house with WiFi indicated on the phone. I checked by usage after finding this post, 318 MB used on the new Verizon shared data plan. Each phone used over 150 MB. The only thing we were doing was surfing the internet and sending iMessages while we were at dinner. I looked back at the items that I was doing in the house and I remember after activating the phones and doing a backup that each phone had about 40 apps that needed updated. I believe that 150 MB per phone was due to this period of time.

    This is a great example of Apple and Verizon not informing the consumer of a money making feature on the new phone. Verizon promoted the shared data plan to me in the fact that by using WiFi when available would mitigate any overage on data. Apple doesn't inform the consumer that there is a cellular over WiFi feature as there was on the Beta version. I sure hope this gets fixed because I have only once in the last two years ever used 150 MB of data in a single day. We normally only use 1.5 GB in a billing cycle. UGH!!

  • cdbarreras Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2012 6:21 AM (in response to TechnoSam)

    I called Verizon and they did not know of this issue. I was informed that I would be called back after they did some research and also contacted Apple to ask if there is a known issue. They said they were not able to credit any of the data back at this time, so I am stuck with that. Currently I am on airplane mode with wifi turned on so that I can use the phone in my house. What a crappy way to use the greatest smartphone Apple has to offer!

  • Juice Searls Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 22, 2012 6:26 AM (in response to cdbarreras)

    There's also a new option to just disable cellular data w/o airplane mode (useful because airplane mode turns off Bluetooth and GPS)

     

    Go to General -> Cellular -> Data to OFF

     

    To the earlier poster who speculated that they removed te graceful fallback feature, I honestly don't know--I can't test it here. But anyone should be able to by unplugging their upstream (modem Ethernet) from their router and then trying to get to, say, a web page in safari while on the wifi network.

     

    That'd certainly prove it.

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