This is what I get for posting before looking at the end of the history of the post. All of what I said below is old information so save your time (and my red face) and stop reading now!
As I understand it, if you are using iMessage and are connected to WiFi (say at home), but the phone is sleeping (screen is dark but phone turned on) then any iMessage that comes in at that time will use your data plan and not your WiFi service. If you have any scheduled messages coming in (Say daily information services) that would cause the data usage at the odd times listed. It still seems like large messages. Any routine messages sent while the phone is sleeping will also result in data plan usages. I hope this is clear. I just spent time on the phone to ATT on iMessage and data usage myself!
Message was edited by: Latteman
I see your edit, but it's worth repeating that while what you say is true, iMessage uses only a trivial amount of data. The data hogs tend to be things like the mail app getting stuck in a loop, or certain third party apps (CNN used to be bad; I don't know if it still is, but I used to make a habit of killing the app using the task switcher just to be sure it wasn't updating stories in the background).
I have to say, in my four years of using iPhones I've almost never had any significant amount of data usage that I was not able to explain. But that may be because I'm a Rogers customer in Canada, and the Rogers network seems to run circles around AT&T. (I dread my trips to major US cities when I have to roam on AT&T!) It seems the worse the data connection, ironically, the more likely data will get chewed up because of transmission retries, etc.
As I understand it, if you are using iMessage and are connected to WiFi (say at home), but the phone is sleeping (screen is dark but phone turned on) then any iMessage that comes in at that time will use your data plan and not your WiFi service.
I have read this on the Forums and I am not disputing it but in my conversations with Apple Tech Support they say it should continue to use WiFi. I would like to know for sure which way is correct since not all Apple Support personnel give you good information.
I have experienced the High Data usage but it was mostly Uploaded Data which could not be explained and it was fixed by a Reset of All Settings on the iPhone 4.
My family has multiple iPhones and we have had problems with phantom data on an iPhone 4, 4S and 5 using IOS 5 and 6. Most cases have occured during the night while the phone was plugged in to the charger and had a strong WiFi signal. Often times the data will happen at the same time night after night with up to several hundred Mb of data per night. We have tried closing all apps (double tap the home button then close each app), resetting the network settings, and various other approaches. Sometimes it works, other times it hasn't. We have had to increase our data plans to keep from being hit with overage charges.
I am extreamly frustrated with Apple for not poviding support to determine what is causing this problem. They have blocked any app from providing a log of what is using the data, and do not support this function in the OS (only a total data usage, not broken out by app).
Notes: We don't use iCloud (not even logged in). We don't stream music or movies. All apps were closed (double tap home and shut off apps one at a time). Email is set to only check on demand. Because resetting the network connections made the problem go away on 2/3 phones, I believe that the problem is on the phone. Also, the phone usage totals Settings>General>Cellular>Usage match the ATT reported data usage.
Is it always AT&T or do other carriers also have this problem. I heard it was all smart phones. Is that true?
AT&T has spent alot of time grilling me about what I'm doing at 12:15 am every night that is sending so much data (sleeping). Am I streaming? - No, it's data sent... I'm really frustrated with them. The reset on iphone 4 did nothing.
I've been seeing the same thing for both my IPhone 4 (not S) and much more my sons IPhone 5 - on shared data plan with AT&T. My sons problem got a lot better once he turned Itunes syncing over cellular off. Been checking daily usage since.
So checked this morning and all of a sudden our reported usage total has pretty much been reduced by a factor of 1000! Yesterday it was 0.7Gb - today the combined total is only 0.8Mb.
Maybe its a glitch in the AT&T reporting or maybe they have decided to somehow correct whats been going on?
I just got an I-phone 4s and was talked into going to the 1G mobile share plan by the sales weasel at ATT. We looked at the data usage before we switched and I was averaging between 125 - 250 KB per month. So we switch to 1G Mobile Share plan and within 10 days I have used almost 650 KB without any changes in habits, new apps or anything.
I switched off all my push notifications etc. etc. but was STILL getting things from CNN and Words with Friends etc. So I went online to ATT and shut off my data plan for my phone so we don't get nailed (my husband HAS to use his for work as he is on the road quite a bit). I took off all my e-mail accounts, all apps except for Dataman and about to the point of doing a restore on the phone to see what happens.
So I went to ATT this morning and the rep told me to call 611. He said there is some sort of glitch with the new Apple OS that is causing some programs to run in the background when they shouldn't etc. that are sending the phantom messages. I just pulled up my usage detail and went through it and almost all of it is between 12:15 - 12:30 a.m. each night. I have small children and I am NEVER up that late on a consistent basis.
I am getting ready to call the 611 number and see what they say. Rep told me that some were getting some credits from ATT on the data useage but I am not holding my breath.
If this is the deal then I don't even know why I bother to have a smart phone. Arrrrgggggghhhhhhhh
So we see what happens when I call and I'll post what I am told.
You do realize that you're talking about a very small amount of data, right?
650KB over 10 days = 65KB per day = about 2MB per month = about one fifth of one percentof your 1GB monthly plan.
And, as has been explained over and over on this thread, the time stamps shown on the bill are meaningless.
The tiny amount of data you're talking about (unless you're confusing KB and MB) is not a problem and not worth worrying about. Those will be small transmissions related to push notifications, etc.
Now, if you meant to say 650 MB over 10 days, then you should look into tracking down the source of the problem. As has been explained on this thread, the first thing to do is to see if the data counter in the phone agrees (roughly) with the billing system. The best way to do this is to reset the counter to zero (or make a note of the current count) at the end of a billing cycle and then compare over a month. If they agree within about 5% there is probably no problem on AT&T's end.
So, if it does agree, then don't blame AT&T. Start looking at the configuration of your email accounts, what apps you have installed, etc. (Problems trying to connect to email servers that are not responding properly have been known to suck up huge amounts of usage, as well as trying to use cellular internet generally in areas with marginal coverage. You can also burn through a lot of data trying to connect to the internet when something is misconfigured with with your account or with the phone's carrier settings or the SIM, but generally if that's the case nothing will work.)
Even just shutting the phone all the way off (wake/sleep button until the power off slider appears) and then restarting can help some issues, because it will kill any processes that are stuck in a loop. I do this once every few days to free up memory anyway. (Contrary to popular belief, if you've rebooted as I just described, there is no need to kill each app individually using the task switcher. The iPhone does notrestart all of your recently used apps after rebooting; it just leaves the icons there to make it easy for you to return to recently used apps. So the most convenient way to end all processes is just to reboot the phone.)
So I went to ATT this morning and the rep told me to call 611. He said there is some sort of glitch with the new Apple OS that is causing some programs to run in the background when they shouldn't etc. that are sending the phantom messages.
The problem with that statement from AT&T is that this thread is almost 2 1/2 years old. So the problem predates the new Apple OS, as well as 4 older Apple OS's.
Thanks - I did mean MB - sometimes difficult to type with two kids in the background constantly interrupting at I type. I will try reseting counter to zero when next billing cycle starts. We will see what happens next month now that I have unloaded most of my apps and deleted e-mail accounts. I want to start from "scratch" next month with minimal apps installed and all push notifications disabled and see what happens.
For what I normally do which is send a few e-mails, play words with friends and the occassional FB check, there is no way that I should use this much data in that little time.
Hopefully by removing a lot of the apps that constantly send info on your location (Around Me etc.) and keeping all my apps updated for "glitch fixes" then I can figure out what the "data vampire" is that is lurking in the shadows.