11 Replies Latest reply: Jan 11, 2014 9:50 AM by gotbytes
Disapointed Level 1 Level 1

I recently upgraded three iPhone 4's to the new 5's.  The data usage on the phones skyrocketed with no difference in usage between the old 4's and the 5's.  What is even crazier, the iPhone 5's are apparently using cell data when they are connected to wifi!  What can be done about this?  We can turn cell data off, but that is a pain.  Anyone have a solution?


I called AT&T, and they told me to go back to the AT&T store.  Both the call and store were of zero help as they were clueless about things in general.  A complete waste of time.


How does the phone use cell data in the middle of the night when connected to wifi !!!!!!?

iPhone 5, iOS 6.0.1, Brand new, three iPhone 5's
  • sberman Level 7 Level 7

    Here's a good article on this subject:



    Regarding use of cellular data when connected to WiFi, remember the iPhone 5 can use LTE, which the iPhone 4 could not.  So the LTE connection may be even better than your WiFi.  If you want to guarantee no cellular data use, turn it off.  Otherwise, this article should prove instructive about what uses data.

  • Disapointed Level 1 Level 1

    Thank you for your reply, sberman.  I appreciate it.  I certainly understand that the i5 has LTE, where the i4 didn't.  However, the issue at hand is that our 5's continue to use cell data even while connected to wifi.  This seems very strange in deed and should not be happening.  I have turned off settings and tried multiple combinations of settings trying to get it to stop.  Seems like it is a software bug of some kind that allows this to happen.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7

    As I said, if the LTE connection is stronger and/or faster than your WiFi connection, which is more likely with an iPhone 5 than an iPhone 4, and if you have not turned off cellular data, then why shouldn't the iPhone 5 take advantage of the better/faster connection (cellular)?


    Again, if you want to guarantee no cellular use, turn it off.

  • rjacobsen Level 1 Level 1

    Because wi-fi is free and LTE has data limits. My son's iPhone 5 has received warnings from Verizon saying data usage went over 50% of his monthly allowance, and he has it since Christmas only. It never happened with any of our other 3 iPhones, 4 and 4s, so I would consider this a software bug, as iOS should offer the option to stay on wi-fi when it's available. Not everyone wants faster if it's not cheaper.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7

    As I've said many times above:


    Again, if you want to guarantee no cellular use, turn it off.


    Settings > General > Cellular > Cellular Data --> Off

  • Disapointed Level 1 Level 1

    I am not sure you understand the problem, sberman.  It has nothing to do with shutting off cell data.  By the way, the software glitch was apparently fixed in the just released iOs 6.0.2.  Which is supposed to make sure when you are connected to wifi that your phone doesn't use cell data.  Apparently, sberman wants to go through the menus each and every time you switch between wifi and LTE.  That would not be very practical or convenient.

  • cirvin12 Level 1 Level 1

    When i have other wifi connected devices with a good signal everywhere in my home. But the iPhone 5 must be in the same room as the router then its obvious apple has significant problems  i have factory reset restored from itunes and icloud with the same poor performance   shutting off the cell data renders the device useless if you don't get a good connection.  Looking for realistic advice on remedies for this issue Please.

  • RudiXeno Level 1 Level 1

    The problem isn't exclusively an iP5 problem.  My wife has had a 4S for about a year and a half.  She's an extremely light data user.  But in December she started to rack up usage over a few days.  In January she hit her 2gig cap and in the first 12 days of February she hit 2gigs again.  Went to Verizon first and they were clueless.  They did however show her how to check her usage and moderate some of the background stuff that was eating data.  We uninstalled iCloud and set her email to fetch.  But they couldn't isolate the problem.


    Went to the Apple Store and a tech spotted a nonsense email in her Outbox.  It was just a couple of characters.  The phone had been attempting to send the email since Christmas Eve!  Clearing the Cellular usage data we watched it go from 0 - 500kb in just 10 minutes while the phone was still attempting to send the message.


    We uninstalled that email account to get rid of the email culprit and then connected thhe account again.  The message in the outbox was gone.


    Went back to the Cellular Usage page and the phone was now just sipping data at a normal rate.

  • J. Christopher Edwards Level 2 Level 2

    Here is the issue:


    For years I have used between 2-4GB of data a month. Consistently, without fail. After upfating to iOS6, my data usage went through the roof. In 18 days I used around 11GB of data.


    I tried to figure out what in my usage was different. For days I could not  think of anything. Then I started reading posts about the iPhone still using cellular data even when connected to WiFi.


    That was it. I started streaming Soundhound when I fall asleep for between 30-45 min about 3-4 days a week. It should be using my WiFi netwok, but it's not. It continues to use cellular data (LTE).


    I think this is a similar, if not the same, bug that Verizon users experienced (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT5526)


    And Apple needs to fix this. Acknowledge it and fix it.

  • sberman Level 7 Level 7

    See https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4703527?tstart=0


    Yes, cellular data is used when the iPhone is in sleep mode and needs data, unless cellular data is disabled on the iPhone.

  • gotbytes Level 1 Level 1

    I am having this issues also.  It skyrocketed when my daughter went to the 5s.  I did all the recommended settings then today at 3:53am I get a notice that I was about to reach my data limit.  Two minutes later it was reached.  I quickly look at the phone and it was on wifi.


    My recommendation is to complain to FCC.  The more the better.  It will escalates the issue past the call center and gets the notice it deserves. You will get a call from your carrier within a few days to help resolve the issue. 






    Sberman.  You are useless.