Tests prove that Vodacom disappearing airtime is real

acidicity

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Feb 22, 2007
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Could well be that an app on the MyBB handset is bypassing the OS setting. In fact, pretty sure it has to be. I looked at the detailed traces myself and the URLs it's going to are pretty weird.

This is worrisome and raises some interesting questions about security and privacy.
 

cavedog

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Think it's important to put this into context. And also point out that this was discussed with MyBB.

MyBB turned the mobile data setting off on the phone but the phone kept on using mobile data. From the network side we could see the data flowing across the link even during the time MyBB indicated the phone had the data switched off.

The traffic is thus real and would incur charges as per previous comms (this SIM does not have a data bundle and is running OOB).

The real question here is why is an Android device using its mobile data connection when it's tuned off?

For once I actually agree with you.

Mybroadband is blaming the wrong company here. @rpm remove all the APNs from the device and test again.

Android is keeping the APN sessions open even if you switch mobile data off or is connected to a stable wifi connection. Removing all the APN settings will probably mean zero airtime depletion.

The issue is with Android not with Vodacom.

The real issue is why is MTN and Telkom blocking OOB from the get go but Vodacom and Cellc can't that is the real question. If they blocked it by default there would be no airtime depletion.
 

RandomGeek

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Think it's important to put this into context. And also point out that this was discussed with MyBB.

MyBB turned the mobile data setting off on the phone but the phone kept on using mobile data. From the network side we could see the data flowing across the link even during the time MyBB indicated the phone had the data switched off.

The traffic is thus real and would incur charges as per previous comms (this SIM does not have a data bundle and is running OOB).

The real question here is why is an Android device using its mobile data connection when it's tuned off?
Which phones were this Jannie and where were they sourced from?

" including Amazon, HP, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, China Telecom, and MIT. " maybe some adware/trackers/similar software was loaded as part of the base OS and is causing this issue?
 

cavedog

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Which phones were this Jannie and where were they sourced from?

" including Amazon, HP, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, China Telecom, and MIT. " maybe some adware/trackers/similar software was loaded as part of the base OS and is causing this issue?

Some of those are big transit providers so it's necessarily traffic directly to their website.
 

Pandarye

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Aug 31, 2015
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Very strange this, but where Vodacom is involved there is often this type of "strange" behaviour. For instance, since blocking all wasp content I have been notified about three different occasions that an attempt to sign me up to a particular wasp has been blocked. The common thread between all of these notifications is that I had purchased a data bundle using the MyVodacom app just moments before. Vodacom however denies that it is their app trying to sign me up to this wasp.
 

grok

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Could well be that an app on the MyBB handset is bypassing the OS setting. In fact, pretty sure it has to be. I looked at the detailed traces myself and the URLs it's going to are pretty weird.
Huh? The article states that Vodacom found its primarily Google Services.

Like Cell C, Vodacom found that the data usage was incurred primarily by Google Services – specifically the same “connectivitycheck.gstatic.com” URL reflected in the Cell C data usage logs.

Explain?
 

Toxxyc

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Stupid question - what happens to the data when the SIM is not in the phone?
 

jannievanzyl

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The other mobile operators zero rate the requests that are being made while mobile data is turned off..?
No, the MNOs have no idea what settings is active on the handset. For example if Wi-Fi is on or mobile data is switched off in the settings.

All the operators will see this traffic, it's just how the bill for it that will be different.
 

jannievanzyl

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Which phones were this Jannie and where were they sourced from?

" including Amazon, HP, Time Warner Cable, Verizon, China Telecom, and MIT. " maybe some adware/trackers/similar software was loaded as part of the base OS and is causing this issue?
MyBB tested on their Nokia devices and we are testing on Samsung, Huawei, etc..
 

The Door

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MyBB tested on their Nokia devices and we are testing on Samsung, Huawei, etc..
Hmm... interesting.
I might run a wireshark on my Nokia
At what point are these requests going out? Random? Or specifically after a boot?
 

Toxxyc

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Then there will be no data as it's impossible to set up a data connection.
So then the problem is not related to the network, because data will disappear if it was from their side. Obviously something must be using the data - telling me it's not specifically a Vodacom issue. It's a device/setup/OS issue. Or do I have it wrong here?
 
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