iOS 6 Unknown Data Leakage: Another Reason to Unlock Your AT&T iPhone to Change Carrier?

(Last Updated On: June 21, 2020)

Some users reported about mysterious data usage or leakage on their AT&T phones. Should you change carrier?

Apple and AT&T are currently on a blame game about mysterious data leakage and excessive data usage in iOS 6. While they’re pointing fingers, iPhone users are affected by this issue and it’s been largely debated on Apple’s support forum. The discussion thread now has more than 100,000 views since iOS 6 was launched. You can also read an article about this on Forbes.

Apple is usually fast in fixing this type of problem especially if it involves data and security. When Verizon’s customers were complaining about huge data consumption last October, Apple quickly released carrier settings update for Verizon iPhones. Unfortunately, AT&T customers are not that lucky, at least not yet.

The guy that wrote the article on Forbes put up some fixes as suggested by AT&T support on his website (you may want to try yourself if you’re affected):

iOS 6: Setup to Optimize Cellular Data Usage…
Many of the iPhone 5 iOS default network Settings are intended to create best user experience and performance, by utilizing available WiFi and high speed LTE and/or 4G Cellular Data networks.

If your cellular data plan is limited, less than a One GB per month, it would be wise to work through the defaults, and turn off those services that are not important to you.

Network Reset: reset the network connection…
Make sure you know [or have saved] your various wifi passwords so you can quickly set them up again.
Settings, General, Reset, Reset Network Settings.

Cellular Data: turn it Off when you don’t need it…
This may sound messy, but it is really no more so than turning off WiFi, or Bluetooth, when you know you will not be using it. Maybe Apple will move this setting to the front page of Settings, as they have done with Bluetooth in iOS 6
Settings, General, Cellular, Cellular Data, Off.

iCloud Backup: Turn it Off except when you need to do a Backup to iCloud…
Otherwise iPhone will automatically do a Backup over WiFi and/or Cellular Network, while it is on Power, and sleeping.
Settings, iCloud, Storage and Backup, iCloud Backup, Off.

iCloud Documents & Data: turn off the use of the Cellular Data connection, until you need it…
Settings, iCloud, Documents & Data, Use Cellular Data, Off.

Location Services: make sure only the apps you consider critical are switched on…
These are new Settings in iOS 6.
Settings, Privacy, Location Services, and turn Off each Application that is not important to you.
Obviously you would tend to leave On Maps, Photo, Find Friends, Find My iPhone, Weather and Siri.

System Services: apparently, some of these can be demanding on Cellular Network usage…
Settings, Privacy, Location Services, and scroll down past the notes at the bottom of the list of Applications, and select System Services, and turn them all Off except Cell Network Search.
If the Maps Traffic service is important to you, turn it On, but be warned it may be a bit of a hog.

Notification Centre: work through each Application carefully, to determine what you really do need real time?
Settings, Notifications, select each Application, and turn Notification Centre, Off, if you do not need Notification in real time…

Siri: every iPhone User now understand how to use Siri…
However you should be aware that Siri support has been expanded significantly in iOS 6, to include operation of your iPhone, to send text, make appointments, find restaurants, make bookings, and handle your dictation. The catch is that Siri services contacts the Apple Server via the network to translate your voice, do the searches, and return your results. You can leave Siri On but be aware of using Siri, when you are only connected via Cellular Data, and low on Data Usage remaining…
Settings, General, Siri, Siri, On. by default,…

There is also a new setting included in several Applications which allow you to turn off the Cellular Data Connection while they are active…
Music: Settings, Music, Use Cellular Data, Off.
iTunes and App Store: Settings, iTunes and App Store, Use Cellular Data, Off.
Podcasts: Settings, Podcasts, Auto-Downloads, Use Cellular Data, Off.

Mail: you can set up mail to better manage Cellular Data Usage, if it suits your operation…
Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Fetch New Data, Push, Off, and set Fetch to Manually.
And select, Advanced, and for each Mail Account, Select Schedule, Manually.

And finally, here are a few more services you can probably do without, to further reduce Cellular Data usage…
Advertising: Settings, General, About, scroll down to Advertising, Limit Ad Tracking, On.
Diagnostics and Usage: Settings, General, About, scroll down to Diagnostics & Usage, Don’t Send, On.

Some more tips…
For heavy data transmissions sessions on WiFi, switch to Airplane Mode, then switch WiFi back on again while your session is in progress. This mode will prevent iOS 6 from switching the Cellular Data midway through the session, should WiFi stumble….

It would be nice if Apple and AT&T can work together to find the underlying issues and release a permanent fix. This is not an anomaly for sure judging by the thread on Apple’s support forum.

Are you affected by this? Have you considered unlocking your AT&T iPhone to change to a different carrier?

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