Mysterious cellular data usage in early morning

  • 21 August 2018
  • 24 replies

This is happening to me over the last 6 months and they refuse to look into it and say that we use the data. We have unplugged the hotspot  to make sure that there isn't anyone hacking the data. When the device is unplugged it continues to show data usage at 6:30 am when 1. nobody is in the office as this is a business hotspot and 2. the device has been turned off. Customer services has been a nightmare. They insist that we used our data and that we can upgrade. We have upgraded despite knowing that we aren't using the data, but I refuse to continue the upgrade as the data usage is not us. Tmobile needs to look into this because it's ridiculous.

24 replies

Userlevel 4

Hey there! I am very sorry you are having so much trouble with your hotspot! What kind of device is it exactly? Can you try taking the SIM card out of the device and letting us know if the usage is still occurring?

SIM Card is out. It's a ZTE on the sim TM9260

Userlevel 4

When did you take the SIM Card out of the device? Has there been usage while the SIM card was out of the device?

Hi, no I just took the SIM card out after I saw your message. I can tell

you that the device was unplugged and turned off during the hours that the

data was being used. Again, this started about 6 months ago. If you go into

my account as I told the customer service reps you can see that I barely

used data and then all of a sudden there were spikes in my data usage when

I was not in the office, not utilizing the data and/or the device was

unplugged and turned off.

Userlevel 4

We are unfortunately unable to access your account here on a public forum 😥 All data recorded on the network comes from your SIM card. If the SIM card is out of the device and there is still active usage, you can let our tech care folks over the phone know the specific times you had the SIM card out of the device and they can compare that to the recorded usage.

Userlevel 5

I have found with past carriers TMobile included that usage statistics can lag behind the actual use time frame. All depends on when the network and Towers report usage. They don't report the time it was used just the time it was reported.

So there has been no usage since I took the sim card out. Why would the sim

card still show data usage when the device is unplugged or turned off as we

were doing when we started seeing strange data usage.

Userlevel 4

Thanks for getting back with me! So we know that the usage is occurring because the device is somehow requesting this data. I know you said this was a ZTE device but which specific hotspot is this and how specifically are you powering it off?

So.  This just happened on my wife's phone.  She has installed absolutely nothing new on her phone in months. Her phone is ALWAYS on wifi.  This happened just today - years of history this has never happened.  And - like so many others - I'm pissed.  Something changed TODAY.  I don't have her phone, but will look at logs tomorrow, but in the meantime - SOMETHING has to be causing this.  And it happened throughout all day today, basically every two hours - her phone was plugged in across the house and not in use all day long.

Anybody ever figure this out? 

No resolution. Extremely frustrating.

On Tue, Aug 28, 2018 at 12:38 AM, christindall <>

On the battery it has model L:3720T42P3h704572

I power it off by turning the on/off switch to OFF. The most frustrating

part is this is a business hotspot so I have no access to internet each

month now because it goes beyond our data usage when in fact we don't use

it. They customer support tells us that we have used the data and there's

nothing they can do about it. So we are paying for a hotspot with no data

usage, but some how the data is getting used during times that don't make

sense nor do they follow our regular usage if you go back 6 months...

Userlevel 4

@frustratedconsumer - Since we determined that no usage occurred while the SIM was out of the device, we know that the usage is being requested by your SIM card when it is in the device and is valid usage. If there is an issue with the hotspot, we may want to look into doing a full reset on the device an possible exchanging it. The serial number you posted from the battery is for the battery itself. Do you happen to know the Model of that ZTE? I can look up the steps for resetting it for you.

@christindall - Is it possible that the device is losing Wi-Fi connection? There are many background apps on smartphones that request data even while the phone is not being actively used.

Does USB-MU5-B-100-L-A help? I have had several weeks with no connection bc

the service has gone past my data and I refuse to keep paying more when the

usage is not from our use. Can I just take the device back and have them

give me a new one? When I went to the kiosk store to advise them of my

issue they were not able to help me as they just say "you used your data .

You can upgrade your service".

Userlevel 4

I would recommend contacting us again when you have a chance. Our tech support folks will be able to look at your account and see what device you are using exactly and get you the steps to fully reset the device.

I will tell you from what I have noticed is that they go off of PST. So the times would be off but they supposedly were supposed to do something when I was going over every month to no avail. They can’t seem to tell you where data is coming from. Mine would even use service in dead zones. Couldn’t explain that either. i would like them to seriously look into it as well

i noticed this problem also, in my tmobile family plan,  my data usage records show me that i used some data in the early morning, after i dig into it, I think that the recording time is actually misleading, the total data usage matches up with my iphone's cellar data usage statistics, so just the time isn't correctly, I believe tmobile's only shows summary for each day when you look into any billing periods that before your current one, if you take a look at the current billing period's data usage, there are more granular data, so I think the data is summarized but given a misleading timestamp in the historical report.

I seem to be having this same problem.  Last night I turned off my Samsung 5G Flip at about 9:00pm then turned it back on today at about 6:00am.  My account shows useage just after 3am. How can this happen?  Is this from T-Mobile being hacked?


I am noticing this as well with my new Inseego 5G Mifi 2000 hotspot. The device is turned off between 8 p.m. and 7 am, yet for the past 3 days - since it was first activated, there are usages for the times it is off:

10/20/2021,05:59 AM Internet Access 119.1162 MB

10/20/2021,03:59 AM Internet Access 115.6943 MB

10/21/2021,06:46 AM Internet Access 4.247 MB

10/21/2021,06:43 AM Internet Access 3.0634 MB

10/22/2021,06:48 AM Internet Access 25.624 MB

10/22/2021,05:07 AM Internet Access 579.7646 MB (YIKES!!)

10/23/2021,03:58 AM Internet Access 126.414 MB

And it actually shows usage BEFORE that device was even delivered to me on 10/19/2021 at 11:58 AM - it wasn’t even turned ON till after 12 noon that day:

10/19/2021,11:28 AM Internet Access 82.1406 MB

10/19/2021,10:35 AM Internet Access 75.4375 MB

10/19/2021,09:58 AM Internet Access 18.5195 MB

10/19/2021,09:37 AM Internet Access 18.4746 MB

Would anyone know why this is happening or how to fix it or who to call? This seems very suspicious to me. My old device - a Franklin R910 on Sprint has NO usage when the device is off! 

I have the same problem.

I called t-mobile support but no one could answer during months long weekly conversations.

Even more, I also see a big discrepancy in data usage reports in t-mobile app in my iphone.

“Usage->Data” and “Usage->Check usage details” report different usages.

“Check usage details” reports a lot more data usage along with a lot of suspicious internet access activities even I put my phone under WiFi network.

It appears that iPhone’s “Settings->cellular usage” matches with the t-mobile apps’ “Usage->Data”.

It affects my old grand fathered kickback rebate. 


I was just looking into my daughters usage and it is doing this exact same thing as what TNorth posted above! And a lot of times the access is exactly 1 or 2 hours apart, to the minute, and over a 24 hour period like clockwork! I’m super glad I decided to research this on my own before confronting my daughter about it. That conversation could/would have gone so bad on so many levels! Wow.

It turned out that it was not a T-Mobile problem but my iPhone setting problem.

To avoid those unnecessary internet access from iPhone, you should do:

Settings->Cellular->Cellular Data Options->Data Mode->Low Data Mode.

Default setting of the data mode, “standard” allows the IPhone to access the celluar network to do some kind of bookkeeping functions.

”Low data mode” blocks it.


It turned out that it was not a T-Mobile problem but my iPhone setting problem.

To avoid those unnecessary internet access from iPhone, you should do:

Settings->Cellular->Cellular Data Options->Data Mode->Low Data Mode.

Default setting of the data mode, “standard” allows the IPhone to access the celluar network to do some kind of bookkeeping functions.

”Low data mode” blocks it.

Thank you! I appreciate your response!

Date (Pacific),Usage,Service,Type
01/13/2024 12:00 AM,105.4400 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/12/2024 12:12 AM,144.8000 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/11/2024 01:05 AM,93.0300 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/10/2024 01:01 AM,120.2700 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/09/2024 01:46 AM,123.4500 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/08/2024 12:46 AM,137.3600 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/07/2024 12:29 AM,277.2600 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/06/2024 01:10 AM,176.3200 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/05/2024 12:07 AM,142.2000 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/04/2024 01:27 AM,141.3400 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/03/2024 01:32 AM,86.2400 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/02/2024 12:26 AM,87.5300 MB,--,Mobile Internet
01/01/2024 01:37 AM,157.6500 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/31/2023 12:33 AM,120.1200 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/30/2023 01:23 AM,82.3600 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/29/2023 01:28 AM,123.0600 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/28/2023 12:48 AM,72.1900 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/27/2023 01:29 AM,116.7000 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/26/2023 12:22 AM,115.4300 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/25/2023 12:29 AM,166.9800 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/24/2023 12:16 AM,1356.0601 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/23/2023 12:51 AM,163.4500 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/22/2023 12:16 AM,108.5400 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/21/2023 12:39 AM,115.1600 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/20/2023 12:16 AM,137.9400 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/19/2023 12:13 AM,167.5800 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/18/2023 03:52 AM,46.0400 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/17/2023 12:43 AM,0.1800 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/16/2023 12:43 AM,0.2100 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/15/2023 12:02 AM,0.6800 MB,--,Mobile Internet
12/14/2023 02:02 AM,0.0900 MB,--,Mobile Internet