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The iPhone 5 uses Cellular Data over WiFi?

448474 Views 1,054 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2014 11:16 AM by truerock RSS Branched to a new discussion.
  • deggie Level 8 Level 8 (44,795 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:39 PM (in response to gardibolt)

    If it was a "bug" as you say, it would also be happening on my iPhone 5 on AT&T and I'm not seeing it at all.

     

    Are these large downloads (how large) showing up on her phone cell data usage or on the bill?

     

    Have you tried leaving her iPhone connected to power at night and see if it affects the cell usage?

     

    Does she have an Exchange account on her iPhone.

     

    Have you sent detailed feedback information?

     

    How do you know Apple shows no interest in fixing the problem?

  • nicoladie Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:41 PM (in response to Meckler99)

    Look, I have a computer science degree, so I know what I'm talking about.

     

    I looked at the error log of the device, and it clearly shows that the location service is interferring with wifi connection, aborting the wifi intermittently.  That could have caused the device to use cellular data even when wifi is on.

     

    The likely cause is in the switching between the antenna for GPS and wifi, dropping the connection intermittently. I noticed that my iPhone5 signals are always much lower than someone else's iPhone. It could have to do with a certain batch of iPhone that were malmanufactured. I don't think this has anything to do with the cellular carrier at all.  It has to do with the device not able to continuously making the wifi connection, so it defaults it back to cellular data.

     

    My cellular data use while the wifi is connected happened during the day all the time when I am actively using the device.  It eats up a big chunk of data especially when accessing facebook, because FB is very inefficient and downloads tons to image files, not just mail.

  • deggie Level 8 Level 8 (44,795 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:44 PM (in response to droid42)

    As I stated, iMessage does not come through the APN server nor do push emails, so all you received were the FB notifications which may have been too small to record.

     

    That would be about 300MB per month, which can be a lot or a little depending on what type of plan you have. But whether sending it or WiFi or cell data I would try to track down what the activity is.

  • darelldd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:46 PM (in response to deggie)

    Deggie wrote: " The only time that is true is when the phone is not connected to power and goes into sleep mode. At all other times WiFi takes preference over cell data. There was an initial problem with the Verizon iPhone 5 but that was fixed through a carrier update."

     

    Arrg. Really, we still have this confusion? NOTHING has changed for me since my several detailed posts the fly in direct contradiction to what you just wrote here.

     

    I am on ATT with an iPhone5 and now iOS6.1. My daughter has a 4s with iOS6.1 Everything I say about my phone is true for her as well. My phone is powered all night long, on my home's WiFi. It has used tens of MB of cellular overnight. I have been using the phone for a solid hour at home on Wifi... and it has consumed tens of MB's of cellular while awake and in range of my strong WiFi signal. I have turned cellular off to stop the madness when I'm home... and when I switch it back on - in WiFi range still - it again consumed tens of MB's to "catch up" for all the leakage I didn't let it do. In the worst case, it has used over 100 MB in an hour when there is NO way it should use any cellular data. At best it just leaks a little. I have spoken to the fine folks at Apple. And while the first tier folks knew "nothing about it" the manager I was passed to certainly did.

     

    This might be fixed for Verizon customers. I have no idea, and can't really tell from the thread. But it sure as **** is a problem for my family on ATT. And is WAYYYY different than on iOS5.

     

    Please stop pretending that this doesn't exist, or that it is some sort of entitlement or wrong expectation. My fix was to spend an extra $30/month to get a big plan. And that just *****.

  • galileo2008 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 5:48 PM (in response to deggie)

    This excessive data usage is happening to SingTel iphone5 using LTE as well, not limited to AT&T jailbreak phones. Our phones here are unlocked by Apple, fyi.

  • droid42 Calculating status...
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:51 PM (in response to deggie)

    The 450k per hour "activity" on 3G stopped as soon as I disabled push email. I was checking the usage every 10 minutes and it was using a consistent amount (around 70-80k) in each of those time periods.

     

    Yes, I know push email from the Mail app does not go through APN. I bet the Gmail app notifications do though (especially when that app is not even running).

     

    Ian

  • nicoladie Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:51 PM (in response to galileo2008)

    My phone is factory unlocked by Apple, Inc. freshly shipped directly from China's factory brand new, it is not jailbroken whatsoever. This cellular data leak happened on the first day I use the device. By the way, T-mobile has signed a contract with Apple to support iPhone and will start selling iPhone soon.

  • deggie Level 8 Level 8 (44,795 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 5:53 PM (in response to darelldd)

    Again...are you seeing this data usage on the iPhone, i.e. you clear it, leave it connected to power overnight, and the next day you have 50 MB showing used on the cell phone? Or are you looking at your bill and seeing the MB charged at night? If it is the latter that is due to how AT&T does their billing, it does not necessarily mean that the data was used during that period.

     

    Again, I know several people with iPhones running iOS 6.x on AT&T. They are NOT having this problem. Am I saying you are not having a problem? NO. But imagine being the engineer looking a our iPhone 5s, both running iOS 6.1, and yours is having "leakage" and yours is not. They are identical phones and software, right? So where do you look in the code for the problem.

     

    But I'm not showing tens of MB of leakage whether I'm on cell data or WiFi. So that is the first thing I would try to figure out, where is this data transfer coming from and what does it have in it?

  • nicoladie Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 6:12 PM (in response to deggie)

    Look, if you are an engineer, you should know that not all iPhones are the same.  They can have different baseband firmware installed that makes the difference why one device works but the other device does not.

     

    I really suspect that it is a firmware/hardware issue when it tries to switch the antenna for GPS, wifi and cellular.  I turned off bluetooth to avoid potential complications of antenna switching issue.  I think it is a design flaw when the antenna is used for too many signals simultaneously causing it to lose data during the switch.  So when it loses the wifi signal, it defaults to use cellular signal, causing to use cellular data even though wifi is supposed to be connected.  Location service is constantly pulling GPS signal, aborting wifi connection when that happens, which is revealed in the error log.

  • deggie Level 8 Level 8 (44,795 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 6:16 PM (in response to nicoladie)

    The baseband installed AT&T iPhones would all be identical under iOS 6.x. The person I was conversing with had AT&T phones.

     

    Verizon had a configuration issue that had to be updated but it had nothing to to with the baseband.

     

    Switching antennas would have no bearing on this at all as it can easily handle all radios at one time. What you would be referring to would be a radio chipset issue where for some reason it would connect to cellular data even when it is connected to power and the WiFi connection is available. But again in like devices, say two AT&T iPhone 5s, this would not be a firmware/software bug or it would be repeatable with every device. It COULD be a chipset bug on an individual device, i.e. a hardware error, and the phone would need to be replaced.

     

    But the first step in all of these would be trying to determine exactly what is being transmitted/received when connected or not. I leave my iPhone off power most nights, I have push mail, I get notifications from several sources. I've never come anywhere close to "tens of MBs" being sent at night.

  • gardibolt Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 9:16 PM (in response to deggie)

    It was uploading about 30 to 50 MB of data per night over cellular, while plugged in and while not plugged in; it made no difference. The only email accounts she had active on the phone were Hotmail and the .me account that Apple forces you to get.  The cellular leaks were greatly reduced when we shut them and the iCloud access down completely.  It's crippled but at least now it's not gouging our wallets.  Tracking the usage back, the data usage pattern indicated clearly it was the worst, with spikes of over 100 MB, on days that she emailed photos from her phone (I believe on the Hotmail account)---clearly it was refusing to send them over the Wi-Fi  and it was for some reason sending them over the cellular data instead, possibly multiple times, since the data spikes were multiples larger than the size of the photos.  But that didn't account for all the leakage.  On iOS 5 she would have maybe 50-80 MB of cellular data usage in an entire month. 

     

    I contacted Apple to complain and was ignored other than a machine-generated form suggestion to visit the community support forums (which is how I ended up here). Even AT&T was more helpful than Apple, which is a barometer of just how crappy Apple's CS is---at least AT&T was willing to reverse the overages, acknowledging there was a problem.  This thread has continued for many months, and has even gotten some press attention, which is pretty unusual for a discussion forum thread.  Apple has had no response, here or anywhere else I am aware of, other than the Verizon fix that leaves the rest of us in the cold.  I can only assume they don't give a ****--if they could fix it for Verizon users, clearly they know what the problem is, but they just won't do anything about it. 

     

    Stop apologizing for their poor workmanship, and stop acting like we're children imagining things. I'm glad for you that this problem doesn't affect you, but that doesn't help those of us that it does.

  • darelldd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jan 29, 2013 10:37 PM (in response to deggie)

    >> Again...are you seeing this data usage on the iPhone, i.e. you clear it, leave it connected to power overnight, and the next day you have 50 MB showing used on the cell phone? Or are you looking at your bill and seeing the MB charged at night? <<

     

    Again... I'm seeing data usage on the phone. Both with DataWiz and the included meter. DataWiz shows me which 10-minute period is using the data. I have compared the included meter and DataWiz - they are not identical, but they are sure close enough for this issue. Please understand that I have been over this countless times in this thread... like 20 pages back. Nothing has changed. Except one or two folks such as yourself have come on to say that they don't have a problem, so there's probably no problem.

     

    >>Again, I know several people with iPhones running iOS 6.x on AT&T. They are NOT having this problem. Am I saying you are not having a problem? NO. But imagine being the engineer looking a our iPhone 5s, both running iOS 6.1, and yours is having "leakage" and yours is not. They are identical phones and software, right? So where do you look in the code for the problem. <<

     

    And *everybody* I know personally with iOS6 and ATT has this problem. Granted some didn't ralize it, and didn't care - they're on unlimited data, and never even bother to check. I'm not a code jockey, so I'm not sure where I'd look. But Apple DOES know there's a problem. And you can bet they're trying to solve it. Leaving us twisting in the wind like this and pretending we don't exist isn't helping anybody, however.

     

    >>But I'm not showing tens of MB of leakage whether I'm on cell data or WiFi. So that is the first thing I would try to figure out, where is this data transfer coming from and what does it have in it? <<

     

    If you read nothing else that I've written, please read this: I know EXACTLY where most of the data comes from - at least when I'm paying attention. I don't know where it comes form at night, but during the day when I'm using the phone, I can tell you that it is downloading pictures. It is downloading music. It is sending mail. It is downloading Apps. It is checking flights. It is doing all the normal things I do that use data. But all that data should be going out over WiFi. It is not. It is using cellular data. I KNOW I'm using data. But the phone should be using WiFi data, and not my cellular plan! We can just ignore the mysterious leakage that happens while I'm sleeping and have the phone plugged in. That should make everything easier to grasp. I'm using data on Wifi, and I'm being charged for it on my cellular plan. A big part of the problem is as simple as that.

     

    On iOS5, our 4S never got close to the 200MB plan limit on any month. Four days after loading iOS6, I got a love note from ATT telling me that I'd used 75% of my plan. That phone doesn't do anything fancy outside of WiFi range, and it wasn't used any differently than it was on iOS5 - almost exclusively at home on WiFi. I had turned off all the new, wonderful iO6 settings that *could* have made a difference, and everything else remained the same. Apps are turned off religiously, etc.

     

    Nope. You're not going to convince me that this isn't a problem with iOS6. And you aren't going to convince me that "most people" don't have this problem. That simply is not my experience.

     

    The one bone I'll toss out, is that it does seem to happen less often since one of the earlier updates. It does, however, still happen. I now pay for 4 Gig, and consume at least 1 Gig each month - where I could easily stay under 200MB before. How sad is that? $30/month sad is how sad that is.

     

    Best,

    Darell

  • Meckler99 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 29, 2013 10:53 PM (in response to darelldd)

    Darell.

    It is annoying when someone simply refuses to acknowledge evidence because they didn't see it, even if 1000 others have seen it.

     

    I'll throw one monkey wrench in: I have the exact same data problem... But on my iPad. Ios6 of course. AT&amp;T. Same surprise messages about using up my data plan. However one time I actually "caught" my ipad switched over to cellular, 10 ft from my wifi router at home, it did it on its own, and I noticed the LTE icon on, and was like " what the....?" I hit pause on the stream I was watching  and it immediately switched back to wifi. Of course it was too late, AT&amp;T had to sell me more data. I am now on the 30gb plan, $30 per month, and I use almost nothing. I am a bit suspicious of AT&amp;T, because if you follow the money, they are the ones who benefit, not apple.

     

    i think it is either that or there is an interaction affect going on,, between some 3rd party apps, apple apps, and the ios6 code.

     

    M.

  • remus.c Calculating status...
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    Jan 30, 2013 12:18 AM (in response to DJPlayedYA)

    Guys, I'm quite sure this is not an iPhone 5 problem. It's an iOS6 problem.

    I never had any data plan overages with my iPhone 4 in years. I updated to iOS 6 and in one month I manage to reach a 500 Euros extra charge on Vodafone (no new apps installed). Huge amounts of traffic during the night. Any CS at Vodafone knows about this problem, so they reversed the overages. I switched to iPhone 5, recovered from the iPhone 4 backup and nothing changed. I still burn 1-2 GB per week. 95% of the time connected to wifi.

    I was waiting for iOS 6.1, but I understand it doesn't fix the problem.

     

    Remus

  • darelldd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 30, 2013 9:12 AM (in response to remus.c)

    > Guys, I'm quite sure this is not an iPhone 5 problem. It's an iOS6 problem. <

     

    Nobody questions this any longer. The phone doesn't matter. Only the OS. At first, this showed up on the iPhone5's because they came with iOS6, so it wasn't clear where the problem was. Nobody had experienced the iPhone5 without iOS6. Now we have plenty of evidence that the 4's and 4S's that have updated to 6 also suffer the same problems. In fact all the data that I have shows that our 4S has bigger issues in this regard than does my 5.

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