Hotspot data consumption

Something very strange is going on with the mobile hotspot network that I use to connect my laptop to the 'net.

My phone claims that, over the past week, my mobile hotspot network used well over 5 GB of data.

This is despite the fact that:

- I didn't watch any videos (not even a short clip) via mobile hotspot during this time, and didn't stream more than a few minutes of audio

- I have Java turned off for most web pages on my browser

- The SSID of my mobile hotspot network is private and PW protected, so others can't easily siphon my data

Pretty much all I did using my mobile hotspot during this time was text-based (occasionally image-based) web research.

Am I missing something, or is it fair to conclude that there's some type of bug (or other flaw) in the ”meter” that's counting up my data usage?



Best answer by tmo_mike_c 31 July 2018, 17:56

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7 replies

Userlevel 3

Hmmmm -- surface level, that sounds like light usage, but it also might depend on how many images were loaded and what the file sizes were, or if there were graphics on any of the sites you visited?
What type of mobile hotspot are you using?

Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Marissa brought up some really good points about where the data consumption could be coming from. Can you tell us what hotspot device you're using and if this is still going on?

(I tried to respond a few days ago, but my data was so throttled that the site wouldn't let me post my response.)

I have done a number of Google Image searches during the time of the alleged data consumption, but probably not more than 10-15 a day (at a generous estimate).

As for what kind of hotspot, the range is set to "Standard" (which is the lower of the two possible options). Besides this, the only "Settings" options I see for the hotspot network have to do with encryption, and the list of allowed devices.

The device I'm using is a Galaxy Avant that I purchased three years ago, running 4.4.2 of the Android OS.

I posted the above two months ago, and have gotten no response thus far.

The problem has remained unchanged since then.

For example, my phone claims that I used **2.5 gigabytes** via mobile hostpot over the past week -- usage that doesn't include any video or audio streaming, just text- and image browsing.

Over the same period, the actual video streaming I did (using my phone) was apparently worth less than 1 gig.

Something is clearly wrong with the way my phone accounts for data consumption -- right?

If so, anything I could do to troubleshoot this issue would be enormously helpful to know.


Userlevel 6
Badge +15

Data consumption does vary by device. We do have a tool that can help estimate the data usage based on some common ways to use the web. Can you access our Mobile HotSpot Data Usage Calculator ? If so, you can use it to get an idea of how much data will be used after looking at how much time you spend using it. If you're still needing more help reviewing this, I suggest reaching out to our Care team through our Community-2153​. They have access to your account and can go over the usage in more detail.

This has happened to me as well. There is no way that I have used my data as I have turned by device OFF while not in the office and it still shows that data is being used. This is not okay as I am left with no answers or resolution to this other than :"you used your data". I know for a fact that is not the truth. Extremely frustrating. FYI- This issue started around March for me. Prior to that the data was fine as I barely use it and now at 6 it's going over. Something is not right with Tmobile System.


The same thing is happening with me. I have data restrictions turned on on my device and by default, you can't even turn hotspot or tethering options on, yet 3 days into a fresh data cycle, T-mobile is registering hotspot usage at 8.7G. It is absolutely impossible, and no one has any idea why. I don't tether, and I have never used this or any other device as a hotspot. Ever. Something is definitely screwy here. Usually an attempt to investigate the hotspot issue further ends in a hang up that won't allow me to parse any further info on the matter, but a couple of times, a click through revealed that my actual hotspot data use was zero. I have the screenshot of it if it's helpful. I wish there were a resolution as I'd rather not get saddled with hotspot usage when there is absolutely none. This has been going on for two months now. Up until then, everything was absolutely normal.