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AT&T, the iPad and the mysterious 3G data usage

Is something hinky going on with AT&T and its iPhone/iPad data usage and billing practices?

Electronista posted a story about a new federal class action lawsuit that claims AT&T is over-stating the data that iPhone/iPad users on its data plans.

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The reason this story jumped out at me today is that I ran into a similar problem with my iPad using AT&T's 3G service. I signed up for the 250 MB plan a little more than a month ago and I started getting alerts as my coverage was starting to run low.

But what I found was that my 3G data plan, for which I was paying $15 monthly for, was apparently consuming data even while I was in the Wi-Fi hotspot zone of my house. In fact, my iPad was often less than 10 feet away from my Wi-Fi router as the data plan was winding down.

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I didn't understand this behavior then, and I still don't. Somehow, my 3G data plan was being used even while I was clearly on my Wi-Fi network. I did not renew my 3G plan because of the mysterious data usage leak.

So, AT&T (and other iPad/iPhone users): is this really a problem?

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