Strange Data Pattern


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 6, 2011

I have AT&T and have recently purchased an iPhone 4s for my son. I regularly keep track of his cell phone usage on my online AT&T account to make sure he isn't going over on his allotted plan. However, I have recently noticed a strange pattern in his data usage.

With the iPhone 3Gs, he regularly kept his data usage to ~300mb per month. Since the iPhone 4s, his data usage is still the same (on track for ~250mb this month), but the reporting on my AT&T account is different.

For example, in the previous 24 months, data would be reported 1-2 times a day - his ~8-10mb of usage would be reported in lump sums at random times throughout the day.

Now, however, his data is reported frequently, and in small portions. Today, for example, his data showed:

12/6 6:23pm 838KB
12/6 4:37pm 235KB
12/6 4:16pm 1KB
12/6 4:16pm 1KB
12/6 4:16pm 1KB
12/6 3:40pm 102KB

Like I said, the overall data used is still about the same daily - but why is it reporting so much more often, and in such small packets (whereas before it was in lump sum?). What would this indicate - a change in reporting a or a change in activity? What could possibly be going on that would cost only 1KB of data? I asked him if he has changed his data usage, and he has assured me that he is doing nothing new (plays a couple games, sends a couple emails.) I am worried however that he may be visiting inappropriate websites as we have had some issues with this in the past.

Any insight you all may be able to offer would be very much appreciated!

Concerned Mom.


macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
The iPhone 4S does have a different type of data plan within AT&T's systems. Its possible that AT&T changed the way the system works to removed the phantom data charges that occurred on older iPhones early in the morning.


macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2010
the burrows
Right, and IOS5 reports data back to apple. Go through his settings, including location services>systems services. Also his iCloud settings, some of those apps really don't need to be backing up to the cloud.
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