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[Q] Cellular data usage when Mobile data is disabled

OP VuDuCuRSe

9th June 2014, 12:23 AM   |  #1  
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Hi there.

I have been recently working outside my home country and I disable my mobile data as soon as I reach the airport.
My Nexus 5, now with 4.4.3 reports 0 bytes of data when I am in roaming and I never got a notification or any sort of activity that may point to a data access being made, yet my service provider sent a big bill with many 10KB accesses during the time I was in roaming.

The same problem might exist while at my home country, but since I have a few hundreds of MB to use each month, I can't really tell.

Anyone else is facing the same problem?
I will temporarily ask my service provider to block my data access while in roaming, but I would like to understand if that is some sort of Android bug or a service provider charging what it shouldn't.
11th June 2014, 06:21 PM   |  #2  
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I've looked a bit more into this issue and I suspect that it was the Google Location Services that try to obtain the positioning from the cellular mobile network.

I've installed the Network Monitor Mini and it showed me a few times that process has a residual network usage.
Since I'm on Wifi most of the time, I assumed that network usage was on the WiFi but now I understand that being connected to the WiFi doesn't mean that the phone cannot use cellular data.

Can anyone that uses little Mobile Data (disabled in the Settings most of the time) confirm that the eventually you get some cellular data charged if you have the Location Settings set to use the mobile networks?
23rd June 2014, 10:59 PM   |  #3  
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Sorry for the monologue, but this might be useful for someone that may face this problem in the feature.

After being more attentive to the network usage pointed by Network Monitor Mini, I think I found the culprit.
I've spent the last weeks with mobile data completely off, using only WiFi, yet on a couple of occasions I noticed Network Monitor Mini reporting minimal network usage being made when no know network WiFi was around.

As the screenshot shows, the WiFi is not connected to any known access point, yet some data was being uploaded by one of those processes.

I think the phone is trying to ping the cellular antenna for a location, thus accounting for mobile data access.

I've disabled the location and I will keep monitoring the data usage to see if that is the real culprit. Also noticed that Network Monitor Mini has a traffic breakdown mode per interface. I'll use that to distinguish wifi and cellular data.
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23rd June 2014, 11:08 PM   |  #4  
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why not just disable data complete, a data signal wont even appear because it wont be connected to data? go to main settings, more, mobile networks, data enabled.. now uncheck it and your data connection will disappear, but your phone connection will stay.

edit.. and if you have root, you can install the disable service app, then you can disable the 5 differing types of location services that your phone uses.
Last edited by simms22; 23rd June 2014 at 11:11 PM.
24th June 2014, 12:39 AM   |  #5  
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Hi simms22.
Like I said on the first post, that was the first thing I did in the airport. I'm not saying simply disabling roaming data, I disabled data completely.
The point I'm trying to show is that even with mobile data disabled, in roaming I still got several tiny chunks of data registered by my operator and I occasionally noticed Network Monitor Mini showing 0.1KB upload, as shown in the screenshot.

Regards.
24th June 2014, 12:51 AM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VuDuCuRSe

Hi simms22.
Like I said on the first post, that was the first thing I did in the airport. I'm not saying simply disabling roaming data, I disabled data completely.
The point I'm trying to show is that even with mobile data disabled, in roaming I still got several tiny chunks of data registered by my operator and I occasionally noticed Network Monitor Mini showing 0.1KB upload, as shown in the screenshot.

Regards.

well, a little bit of data can be transferred through the phone signal(sms). do you have disabled in wifi settings, bottom right three dots, advanced, scanning always available? that uses the wifi to scan for location even when wifi is off, maybe they do that with the mobile signal as well. anyways, about a month ago, google location services kept waking my device non stop, so i completely disabled them in the google play services using the disable service app(i have root). now google never checks for my location unless i let it.
25th June 2014, 11:25 AM   |  #7  
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Hey.

I disabled the Location services in Settings, restricted the background data and so far it has been three days with no data accesses registered by my provider.
I don't think the background data is responsible for the traffic so I will wait a couple more days and then re-enable it.

I think the Location services are useful and I do like those small things it offers like weather prediction for where you are, where you parked the car, time to go home/work and movie times near you. The only problem is that it doesn't seem to respect the Mobile data status.
25th June 2014, 11:59 AM   |  #8  
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Just raised an issue in the AOSP tracker
https://code.google.com/p/android/is...ummary%20Stars

If you share the concern on this problem, please star it to give visibility.
20th September 2014, 11:29 AM   |  #9  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VuDuCuRSe

Just raised an issue in the AOSP tracker
https://code.google.com/p/android/is...ummary%20Stars

If you share the concern on this problem, please star it to give visibility.

It also happens with me but I have a Galaxy S4. It's a huge defect to alow location to consume mobile data even with the data roaming and mobile data disabled.

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