Bug causing iPhone 5s to use cellular data while on Wi-Fi may not be limited to Verizon

in General Discussion edited January 2014
An unknown bug that causes iPhones to use data from cellular networks even when connected to a Wi-Fi network may not be a Verizon-only issue as reports of similar problems from users on other carriers increase.

The number of complaints from AT&T and Sprint users have grown since Apple released a carrier update for Verizon iPhone 5 users on Sunday, which fixed an apparent glitch that caused the handsets to continuously stream data from the carrier's network despite showing a connection to a functional Wi-Fi network.

Verizon Carrier Update

As first reported by AppleInsider, complaints from a number of threads (1, 2) on Apple's Support Communities webpage pointed to identical problems with excessive data use on both AT&T and Sprint. Users from the "big-three" U.S. carriers noted a drastic increase in cellular data usage upon receiving their iPhone 5, a major problem given the cost of pricey data plans and overage fees.

Multiple readers using both AT&T and Sprint have reached out to AppleInsider, reporting they too are seeing the issue on their new handsets. Most discovered the excessive data use only after receiving a warning message from their carriers, stating that their data plans were nearly maxed out for the month.

One reader said they burned through 1.6GB of data on AT&T's network in four days during normal use, a steep jump from their usual 1GB per month average. The problem in this case was narrowed down to music downloaded from iTunes Match, which the user thought was being transferred over Wi-Fi as the iPhone displayed an active connection to their local network. The handset was apparently using cellular data instead, however, thus racking up the rather large data usage stats.

While it is still unknown what causes the problem, the excessive data issue may not be exclusive to the iPhone 5 as some Apple Support members also noted usage increases with their iPhone 4 and 4S handsets. If true, the complication could be an iOS 6 matter rather than an iPhone 5 firmware bug.

While Verizon issued a statement saying customers wouldn't be charged for the inadvertent data use, it is unclear what AT&T and Sprint will do if the problem is found to be rooted in Apple's iOS 6 code.


  • Reply 1 of 43
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member

    I think I may be experiencing this on AT&T. It is hard to tell but I have only had the phone for a couple days and I have only used it on cellular for a 10 minute test of turn by turn. The rest of the time I was on Wifi and I show 67 MB used during that time as best I can read the data.


    As fast as LTE is you probably would not even notice a speed difference. In fact the WiFi may even be slower.

  • Reply 2 of 43
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,612member
    No problems here. Only 333MB of data used since I got my iPhone 5 (AT&T) on 9/25
  • Reply 3 of 43
    For lack of proper words, this will be coined temporarily as cellswitchGate
  • Reply 4 of 43
    I definitely had this issue on Verizon. I received my phone on 9/21 and set it up over WiFi. The following Sunday morning (9/23) I checked my data usage with Verizon and it was about 850MB. That is more than I used in a month previously and the phone had been on WiFi most of the weekend.
  • Reply 5 of 43
    AAHHHH!!! CODEgate!!!!

    My iphone 4S running OS6 says I've used 1.8 GB of Data (Verizon) which I know is wrong. At the office I use my wifi that's connected to a T1 and at home I use wifi connected to my cable modem.
  • Reply 6 of 43
    spacekidspacekid Posts: 183member
    I had this problem on ATT with the Podcast app. It repeatedly downloads podcasts and will use cell data even if disabled. After I received a data plan warning from ATT. I deleted the app to be assured it wouldn't download anything.
  • Reply 7 of 43

    We are experencing this bug on all our iphones (4, 4s) running IOS 6 and IOS5. It started on my kids phone, his iphone transmitting massive (80gb) at a time in the middle of the night (between 3am-4am). We paid the overages because ATT is absolutely worthless to assist. I turned off icloud and it seems to have slowed. All the while, his phone sat in his room connected to our wifi.


    My wife's then started doing it, then mine and my mother in-laws. All transmitting large data in the middle of the night. I tried turning off data & documents back up over cellular, no such luck. Turning icloud completely OFF seems to be the only way to prevent it from happening. We've told Apple and ATT but they don't seem to know about it (despite it being on both ATT and Apple forums.) 


    If this is happening to you, turn off iCloud (and yes, say goodbye to the iCloud features...)

  • Reply 8 of 43

    No issues on Rogers network in Canada, so does not appear to be widespread issue of iOS6 unless this is somehow related to CDMA/LTE of the Verizon network.

  • Reply 9 of 43
    [B][/B]. I have a iPhone 4 on AT&T I have the ios 6 and since I download the upgrade I have noticed large amounts of data everyday.
  • Reply 10 of 43
    markbyrnmarkbyrn Posts: 659member

    I don't think it's a bug with the iPhone or that the bug is new.  Issues with the devices using cell data while in sleep/standby mode instead of available WiFi have been around for quite sometime.  

  • Reply 11 of 43
    buckalecbuckalec Posts: 199member

    I had the misfortune off having to speak with AT&T today. My data was overflowing on the first day of a new data cycle. The first thing the 'rep' asked was "did i upgrade to 6". "Yes"

    They are refunding the overage, felt like a scripted fallback.


  • Reply 12 of 43
    pt123pt123 Posts: 696member

    This bug is not suppose to surface until the user approaches their data cap.

  • Reply 13 of 43
    This is being reports by quite a few people on Telstra in Australia as well.
    Personally I've found my data usage is up a lot but I'm not doing anything different to with my old iPhone 4.
  • Reply 14 of 43

    I've noticed this on our plan (2 iPhone 4s and 1 iPhone 4 ) as well. A LOT more cellular data use than was normal before iOS 6, and even cellular usage when I know our devices are in range of our routers.

  • Reply 15 of 43
    kavokkavok Posts: 51member


    Originally Posted by rjlcool View Post

    For lack of proper words, this will be coined temporarily as cellswitchGate

    I say Datagate.  Though I'm opposed to using the word "gate" as a suffix regardless.  Damn you Nixon!!

  • Reply 16 of 43
    My iPad 2 which I updated to ios6 which never leaves my house and is always connected to my wifi says I've used 5.6 gb on my cellular data. This is a huge problem and I think that some heads are going to have to role at Apple for this one.
  • Reply 17 of 43
    I have an Iphone 5 and 4. Both have maxed out my data plan after a few days on IOS 6. Both phones are in a wifi area all day yet are using cell data at unbelievable levels. The usage happens at around 1 AM and then again at 8:30 AM each day. People at Apple HQ would be losing their heads if Steve Jobs were still around.
  • Reply 18 of 43
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,366member
    My wife got this message on her new iPhone 5. She was throttled and they told her she had used 5 Gb of data in less than two weeks! It fact, while she was on the phone talking to ATT (who is basically saying it's her fault), she was connected to WiFi and her account showed she downloaded 700 MB of data. It's showing that she's UPLOADED hundred of megabytes in the middle of the night. What???

    What is going on Apple, ATT???
  • Reply 19 of 43
    I have an iPhone 5 on AT&T and I definitely am experiencing this bug. I bought the 64GB phone and downloaded all of music from iTunes Match one evening last week. I was at my house logged into wi-fi and set the download to start late in the evening. When I awoke, I realized I had received a text from AT&T informing me of my data overage. I am now being throttled until my next billing cycle. I called AT&T about the issue and they were completely unwilling to un-throttle me. I that AT&T!!!
  • Reply 20 of 43
    The same thing happened to me. I'm on AT&T and I got a text message 4 days after I activated my iPhone 5. I used 3.5 GB on my cellular data (having never gone above 2 GB/month). Funny thing is that my iPhone says I only used 760MB!
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