Data being used by itself?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by afterburn11, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. afterburn11 macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    My girlfriend bought an iPhone the day after I did, but she didn't get a data plan like I did (I got the $30/month 6GB plan, which is overkill for me, but the other plans were ripoffs). She didn't get a data plan because she wasn't going to use her iPhone for any of the features that needed data, because she always has access to wifi, either at home, at university, or at work. But in the week, her iPhone seems to be using data on its own. She has received 15kb and has sent 58kb. At $0.05/kb, that's only $3.65, but still—what could have been using data? She has moved all the applications that do use data to a separate page that she never goes to, and has changed all the options so that she won't access data. She is positive she hasn't accidentally pressed the Safari app, for instance.

    Any ideas?
  2. shinenjk macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Google maps?

    Strictly speaking, I think anything & everything besides phone calls & txting is considered data so there's too many things out there to list. You should check out the detailed bill online first. If you can't find anything, call AT&T & ask.
  3. slapguts macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2008
    Voicemail counts as data.

    Either that or a momentary loss of he wifi connection, and the iPhone reverted to edge for a very short time.
  4. rolex54 macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2007
    Houston, TX
    visual voicemail downloads over the cellular network, but I am not sure if ATT counts it as data or not
    that would be my only idea
  5. afterburn11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    Well, the only thing she has done with her phone has been 1) make phone calls 2) text message 3) use the iPod feature 4) use the camera to take pictures. No Google maps, no weather app, no stocks, no anything! So who knows.

    It's just odd. In theory, if she doesn't use any of the apps, data won't just use itself, right?

    Either way, we're with Rogers in Canada, so I don't know if their bills are as detailed as AT&T's are in the States.
  6. shinenjk macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Wow I didn't know voicemail counts as data. The 2nd explanation sounds more reasonable to me.
  7. afterburn11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    She doesn't have visual voicemail, I don't think. Does regular voicemail count as data, then? Because she has a "value pack" plan that includes voicemail.
  8. shinenjk macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    Boston, MA
    When she turns the camera on, there will be a pop-up asking her to use her location. She should say NO to those. Geo-tagging I think would mean data usage.
  9. afterburn11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    Right, I disabled the "location services" feature for her as soon as she bought the phone, so I'm pretty sure she doesn't have to worry about it. I've looked through her options a bunch of times, and all the options that could potentially use data are off! But I'm probably missing something.
  10. shinenjk macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    Boston, MA
    Yea iPhone's got too many capabilities. Just make sure she won't use anything else besides calling & txting. Maybe she accidentally opened up apps that uses data (weather?). At least the bill was a paltry $3.50.
  11. Rybold macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2008
    California, USA
    I knew you had to be outside of the U.S. If you buy a phone here, it is required that you sign up for a data plan when you buy the phone. If you don't sign up for a data plan, they won't sell you the phone.

    How's the service/reception in Canada? Is it good, or is it lousy?

    My best guess on the data would be that it happened when she set up her voicemail box. Here in the U.S., when we setup the voicemail box, we record the greeting on our phone, then it sends the audio file to AT&T. When we receive a voicemail, it downloads the message (as an audio file) onto our phone. I'm not sure if Rogers works the same way or not. My best suggestion would be to just simply call their customer service and ask. Maybe call Apple's customer service and ask if it's the voicemail, or ask what they think it could be. Good luck.
  12. sk8mash macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2007
    I also noticed this. Happened ever since I got my iPhone way back. I just live with it, but turning of location services reduced it. Its bad for me because I have it unlocked on a contract with no data bundle. If I want a data bundle the biggest I can get is 2MB for £5 which is about $10. So I don't want to think how much 2MB is costing me without the data bundle...
  13. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    Is that 5 cents per Kilobyte? :eek: the usage of 15kb sent and 58kb received is miniscule and could be almost anything.
    When I wake the iPhone at home it takes a second or so for WiFi to show on the status bar so it could be that it's using data in that short period before WiFi kicks in. Another thing to check is if you have Exchange Push on I believe it always uses the cellular network to check for new messages even if connected over WiFi. Don't know if MobileMe is the same or not, but it's worth turning push of in case

    On the UK phones there's an option under settings/ general / network / cellular data network where the carrier's internet settings are stored. If you put garbage in there it should prevent it ever connecting to 3G/Edge (you'll get a popup error message if it ever tries too which may help you track it down).

    At the cost per kb though I'd be tempted to add at least a small data plan to avoid running up huge bills without realising
  14. aneftp macrumors 601

    Jul 28, 2007
    The iPhone is a data hog. That's why it's sold with a data plan. I know your explanation about not wanting to have a data plan since your GF is around wifi most of the time. But that's the risk you run if you do not subscribe to a data plan with the iphone.

    Your best fool proof method is to call your provider and have them block internet access on the phone line. Your 2nd best proof is to hack the iphone and install Boss Pref (I'm not sure if they have this on the iPhone 3g was on the original iPhone) Boss Pref hack allowed you to block EDGE data.

    As to why the small 3.65 charge even though your GF is supercareful. Like the other poster have mentioned, it could be because of location services. It could also be when your GF manually downloded emails or surfed the internet via Wi-Fi, there could have been a temp. lost in connection and the connection reverted to the cellular data and than reverted to WiFi again.

    So it's her risk by not signing up with a data plan.
  15. spazattack674 macrumors regular

    May 17, 2006
    Even if you turn off Location Services, when you go into Google Maps and press the Locate Me button, I believe it automatically turns Location Services back on, and since the iPhone 3G has aGPS, it also uses cell tower triangulation, which may use a small amount of data. Not sure about this, just seems like a possible cause.
  16. profetto macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2008
    I would be careful, you can turn Location Services off, but the camera can also use data if you choose to let is use your location, it will simply just turn Location Services on.

    Now that being said, my fiance is using my old first gen iPhone (we're here in Canada to), the phone is jailbroken and she doesn't have data plan, so I called Rogers and had all data blocked for her account so she doesn't have to be tip-toeing around the phone.
  17. bredell macrumors regular

    Mar 30, 2008
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Poor girl, isn't she allowed to have any fun at all?
  18. skubish macrumors 68030


    Feb 2, 2005
    Ann Arbor, Michigan
    Turning OFF location services doesn't disable the camera asking if you want it to find your location. All location services does is prevent the phone from downloading the GPS satellite locations periodically. That is how A-GPS is able to acquire a satellite lock so quickly. The iPhone downloads the sat. locations periodically.

    I had this data mystery where I went to Canada and I was trying to avoid using data. My conclusion was that the phone was checking for PUSH email. I think even if you don't have email setup on the phone, it still checks.
  19. CrzyCanuck72 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 10, 2003
    Call Rogers and block data on the phone. It's too risky to go without a data plan. Your GF could give her phone to a friend to see for a minute and rack up a huge bill. If data's blocked, there is no risk of accidental charges.
  20. Lightbrazer macrumors member

    Jul 27, 2008
    The answer to the original posters question is that the Iphone contacts apple regularly whether you have data on or not this "feature" can not be stopped, it's built into the core api and it's how apple can use things like it's blacklist feature to "protect" you from malware.

    If you really use no other data then get a 5meg/month add on if they'll let you and you'll have more than enough for it's checks.

    Out of curiosity wtf did she get an iphone for if she's not using data???? Thats like buying motorcycle so you can push it cause you dont' wanna buy gas ever.
  21. TechIsCool macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2008
    OK i have an awesome but simple solution disable the Edge by changing the APN name which is the Access Point Name like

    here is the link for it

    and a tutorial :)

  22. afterburn11 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 6, 2008
    I'll definitely tell my girlfriend to give that a try! Thanks!

    And I might her tell her to call Rogers and ask them to block data to her phone.
  23. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    Yeah I always wonder the same thing on these types of posts. Why you would get a phone with all kinds of options you will never use, when you will only use the options that are on standard free phones, is beyond me. What's the point? OK, OK...if you have widely available wifi access that you will NEVER be out of (doubtful), then fine, but that has to be so rare. Breaks from school? In the airport? In the bar a few blocks from school? Wifi isn't everywhere, so I can't imagine completely disabling data. In this case, I would just not have an iPhone. But whatever, it's not my problem what others so wish to do.
  24. TechIsCool macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2008
    yah it totally blocks all network traffic except phone calls even visual voicemail you have to call in

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