"AT&T Plan Nearly Out of Data" (after 2 days!)

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Kwill, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Kwill, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

    Kwill macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Many people have been associating rapid data consumption with LTE. Perhaps there's another reason...

    AT&T kindly provides an email message with the subject line: "AT&T Plan Nearly Out of Data" when we reach 80 percent our limit (20 percent left). I have received this notice only about 3 or 4x within the past year with my iPad 2 and have never exceeded my data plan. Usually, it's a couple days before auto-renewal.

    :eek: This month I received a notice only 2 days after renewal (April 3). What happened??? I don't have LTE and was primarily using it at home in a wifi environment except for two specific occasions while away when I logged into a website the evening of the renewal (4 minutes) and the next day checked my Twitter account (2 minutes) while at the Apple Store. Apparently, with 3G Cellular Data enabled within iPad settings, connectivity doesn't always prioritize the way we might expect.

    I downloaded Hulu Plus trial last night and watched a few of shows. Evidently during this time, cellular data was being consumed rather than wifi. This seems like it is a iOS issue.

    Until it is resolved, my recommendation is to manually disable cellular data within iPad settings when wifi is available. It's what I normally do but this month when I did not, my suspicions of improper data allotment seems confirmed.
  2. barkomatic macrumors 68040

    Aug 8, 2008
    Yes, I have always disabled cellular data while at home around wifi for this very reason.
  3. Dangerous Theory macrumors 68000

    Jul 28, 2011
    Meh, I get 15GB of data and don't even usually use a couple of GB. Haven't noticed this problem, but then again I probably wouldn't.
  4. richpjr macrumors 68030


    May 9, 2006
    I have always done this myself - I guess it's a good thing.
  5. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    Wow, that was helpful!

    Like the previous post stated, I would just keep the cellular data switched off until you need to use it.
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    It does suck that we have to micro-manage this. My wife only uses her phone for the most basic e-mail and such. 99% of the time she's using it as a "dumb" phone.

    But that didn't stop the phone from deciding to use 10x the amount of data that she had ever consumed in a month, all in one night while she was sleeping. The phone was at home, well within the confines of our WiFi network. Regardless, whatever it decided to do was via cellular.

    The worst part is that we're supposed to simply trust their account of data usage, but they either will not or cannot determine what the data was being used for. Think how outraged people would be if we received a cell bill with charges for undisclosed telephone calls.
  7. nlkccom macrumors 6502a

    Sep 18, 2008
    I turn off cellular data by default. I only turn it back on when I know for a fact that I don't have wifi nearby and need cellular data connection. I would hate to have some 'surprise' data usage. :rolleyes:
  8. MR1324 macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2010
    once i saw my 1 day data usage on my LTE ipad, i knew a limited data plan was not going to cut it. i spent the next week figuring out the best way to get unlimited data.
  9. boltjames macrumors 601


    May 2, 2010
    I have the unlimited data plan.

    I love myself so much for that.

  10. flindet macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2011
    Seeing similar on Verizon

    Just wanted to weigh in that I'm experiencing the same problem on Verizon. I've been trying to determine what in the world is using all the data, but haven't been successful yet.

    I started turning off cellular while at home, but just browsing the web while on LTE cellular still used up HUNDREDS of megs in short times. I'm thinking some backend caching or something may be going on if it recognizes it's on LTE. I also suspect some Apps (maybe Draw Something) may be downloading crap when I don't realize it. I've been trying to find an app that would tell me what on the devices uses what amount of data, but no luck so far. Anyone know of one?

    I'm a developer, but I haven't really looked into iOS development. I wonder if the APIs would make it reasonable to write my own. I'm guessing if they did, someone would have done that by now. Hmm...

    Anyway, with tears in my eyes, I finally turned off LTE two days ago. Since then I haven't seen cellular usage grow too much. It's been about 50 megs with the same use. However, I have noticed that the cellular usage in Settings doesn't seem to update very often at all. So, I'm sort of waiting for it to update with some massive amount soon. Hasn't happened yet.

    So, so far it looks like disabling LTE may work around the issue. I see that as a pretty disappointing workaround, though, but maybe that will help someone who is also in danger of overages.

    It's not consistent with OPs theory, though, so maybe this is bogus. Too early to say.

    And just to rule it out: Data usage habits are consistent with usage before LTE (I used to tether 3G with iPhone 4S). No videos or streaming of any kind. Just mostly web traffic and even then, not a whole lot.
  11. Old Smuggler macrumors 6502a

    Old Smuggler

    Sep 8, 2006
  12. Kwill, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012

    Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    I don't program with C++ but this seems like a relatively simple correction on the OS level. With Perl it would involve a basic prioritized expression along the lines of this:

       $connect =
          ($ds=~/wifi/) ? "wifi" :
          ($ds=~/LTE/) ? "LTE" :
          ($ds=~/3G/) ? "3G" :
    Obviously there are more formal designations for various connections but it could not require too much code to resolve the issue of selecting cellular data when wifi is available.
  13. Eddie Bombay macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2011
  14. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    yep airplane mode! turn wifi on :) i always do that, because my faulty timewarner drops out, and i dont want it to kick back to LTE.

    sighs, i wish att would do unlimited again. Ill pay $100 a month and cut my cable out. GLADLY
  15. PittsDriver macrumors 6502a


    Jun 30, 2010
    Ya I have noticed this as well. I activated my 3gb data plan, downloaded some apps and had a gig of usage after about 20 min. Crazy!
  16. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    This is a guess based on one data point. I've had the iPad 3rd generation with LTE since it was released. I've only used 200MB of cellular even though I use it all the time including videos. There is not an iOS bug. You clearly have one of two problems.

    1.) Something is connecting and using large amounts of data when the iPad is sleeping. When sleeping the cellular connection is used over the Wifi if it is enabled.
    2.) The second and more likely one is there is something wrong with your wifi connection. Either you really aren't connecting to wifi when you think you are or something is wrong with the router/network so it's not moving data and the iPad is using cellular instead.

    I don't understand why people jump to such silly conclusions. If this was really the case that it was using the LTE connection over available wifi don't you think the news outlets would be screaming with the "new iPad flaw"? It works the same as it did on the iPad 2 and the first iPad.
  17. BFizzzle macrumors 68020


    May 31, 2010
    Austin TX
    im fairly sure the op said this seems like an ios issue. idk he didnt sound too conclusive, just that his lte was being used instead of when he thought wifi was connected, (wheather it be that his internet is down, so his connected to wifi router but its not sending internet)
  18. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    This being said, I think it's perfectly reasonable to ask for a method that can tell WHAT is using the data. There are many situations where apps are using cellular during sleep and people need a way to identify the culprit.
  19. bcaslis macrumors 68020

    Mar 11, 2008
    I agree. I'm just saying that jumping to the conclusion that there is a bug in iOS and everyone should turn off their cellular connection to avoid it is silly, especially if you haven't even tried to determine what the root problem is.


    He said until the issue is resolved you need to turn off cellular. Therefore he has blamed it on iOS rather than an issue on his end or any attempt to determine further what the issue is.

    I'm just saying he needs to look on his end for a problem rather than waiting for an iOS update for a problem many other people are not having.
  20. dmccloud macrumors 6502a


    Sep 7, 2009
    Anchorage, AK
    Everyone seeing sudden spikes in their cellular usage needs to make sure that iCloud and iTunes are not set to automatically backup/download/sync via LTE/3G. That will catch a lot of people off guard...
  21. Yr Blues macrumors 68020

    Jan 14, 2008
    As long as the current broadband cellular paradigm exists, I'll continue to use the WIFI only iPad.

    iPhone for everything else.
  22. slippery-pete macrumors 65816


    Jun 23, 2007
  23. Stealthipad macrumors 68040


    Apr 30, 2010
    YOU MUST ALWAYS disable cellular data unless you need it. ALWAYS:rolleyes:.
  24. Sherifftruman macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2010
    It's kind of hard to take advantage of wifi when the devices uses cellular data when on wifi.

    I'm glad to see others noticing this now too. I wonder if it is an iOS 5 thing or what. I do think it may be two issues. One, it uses cell instead of wifi and two doing the same ecpxact things (forum browsing, reading gizmodo, Engadget, checking twitter and Facebook and reading some sports blogs) the LTE iPad is using a multiple ofthe amount of cell dat that my iPad 2 did.
  25. Kwill, Apr 6, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012

    Kwill thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2003
    Thanks for ideas and suggestions

    Good points. I don't have iCloud or LTE. Someone mentioned possible router issue (Airport Base Station). Though it's possible there was a temporary hiccup by the service provider, network desktop machine seemed to retain Internet access.

    Another thing I considered is logging in to a website using cellular data and switching to another app without logging off may leave the cellular connection open in the background even if you later have access to wifi. This is just speculation but I did this on the day my cellular data went out of control.

    I began this thread for three reasons:
    1. Make people aware that even rapid 3G cellular data consumption can occur.
    2. Receive feedback from other users about their personal experiences and remedies.
    3. Explore whether very public LTE data issue could share a common iOS bug with 3G users.
    I used to turn off cellular data out of unconfirmed suspicion that this may happen. The month I ignore such suspicion seems to be the time a month's worth of cell data is consumed in one evening.

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