iPhones ‘randomly’ and repeatedly stop using mobile data

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squirrel

Active member
Oct 4, 2020
36
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Hi. I’m sorry if this isn’t appropriate for this group but I’ve tried googling and Apple help, but I only can find information how to kick an iPhone to get ours going again, which is doing a restart. I can’t find anything about how to prevent them from stopping their data connection over mobile from falling asleep when they choose to do so.
My wife and I have had this problem when we had iPhone 5s. Two years ago we moved to iPhone 8 Plus, but we both still suffer from this problem, my wife more often than me though strangely, but she uses her phone much more than me as I use an iPad when at home (she also has an iPad but prefers using her phone).
We can get the mobile data working again by restarting the phones, but anything from a day to a month later they will need to be restarted yet again.
My wife had a long journey to make last night in the dark. I was to get the evening meal underway when she was half way home, we restarted her phone the day before in preparation for her long trip (not that it needed it) but yet again I couldn’t check on her progress home. Of course, she doesn’t know her phone has stopped communicating via data and I don’t want to call her as it would be hazard to her as she is driving.

Does anyone else have this data problem and what have you been able to fix the problem? Thanks.
Jim
 
Did you try Reset Network Settings (in General, Transfer or Reset iPhone, Reset Network Settings from the pop-up)? I would maybe do this on one device. Before you do that, is Low Data Mode on (Mobile Data Options) and do you have Background App Refresh on for Mobile Data?

The other question would be about your provider and their coverage. Are you going into spotty coverage and/or roaming?
 
Thanks for replying. My phone has done the same thing to me this morning. Walking our dog, top of a hill, 5 bars of 4g normally, and no data. Restarted my phone, fantastic download speed once again. So it’s not the low data mode, I’ve checked anyway and that’s off. Auto background app update is off, always ask ticked.

We know the weak signal sections of the trips we go on and they are only for a couple of miles ie under 5 minutes for an hour’s journey.

A year ago I did a factory reset on my wife’s phone but that didn’t help.

Ive just spoken to my mobile provider who told me to reset network settings. So I‘ve just done that on both phones. We now need to see if that is the solution to the problem, my provider was confident that it was.
so thanks for you help.
I will report back if the problem resumes.
 
That sounds similar to what happens to mine every now and then. Strong signal but a web page will not reload or checking for email will time out. It has happened when connected to Wi-Fi but more so with cellular data.

Switching to airplane mode for a few seconds then back to normal will usually clear it up for me.


I will report back if the problem resumes.
I'll be watching this thread.
 
Resetting the network, that’s a pain as we have to ask our friends for their passwords yet again! Anyway, we did that and it made no difference. My wife got a network packet thingy request to update network settings, which I find scary as there is no info as to who this comes from, and we did say yes this time. We are now waiting to see if we still have the problem. Last week I got an iPhone 11 so we shall see if this suffers from the same problem.
Turning off and on airplane mode makes no difference for us.
 
It may be that as you travel around, you are switching from one cell tower to another, and the DNS settings change between towers. So, whilst your phone may have a signal, it cannot contact the designated DNS server, and so fails to connect. AS it swaps towers, it should get a new IP address and new DNS settings. Have you checked if these are automatic, or do you have hard-coded DNS settings?
 
So, if we approach this logically, and I make some assumptions regarding information you left out, we narrow our focus. The assumptions I will make are that you have been using the same carrier and SIM cards with both the 5s units and the current ones.

So that tentatively rules out the device. It leads us to look at a problem with the provider (unlikely), a problem with your SIM cards, or an issue with software you have loaded on both phones that persisted through the device change.

I would first request new SIM cards from your provider. I would also open the “about” page in ios settings, which will check for a carrier settings update. Take care when installing the new SIM cards and insure they are clear of debris and inserted properly. Then report back.
 
It may be that as you travel around, you are switching from one cell tower to another, and the DNS settings change between towers. So, whilst your phone may have a signal, it cannot contact the designated DNS server, and so fails to connect. AS it swaps towers, it should get a new IP address and new DNS settings. Have you checked if these are automatic, or do you have hard-coded DNS settings?
Thanks for that suggestion. Looking at the iPhone setting I can't see where to check that setting. Who you know under which menu that setting would be?
 
So, if we approach this logically, and I make some assumptions regarding information you left out, we narrow our focus. The assumptions I will make are that you have been using the same carrier and SIM cards with both the 5s units and the current ones.

So that tentatively rules out the device. It leads us to look at a problem with the provider (unlikely), a problem with your SIM cards, or an issue with software you have loaded on both phones that persisted through the device change.

I would first request new SIM cards from your provider. I would also open the “about” page in ios settings, which will check for a carrier settings update. Take care when installing the new SIM cards and insure they are clear of debris and inserted properly. Then report back.
Thank you for your interest in solving our problems. Yes, we are using the same SIM cards that were in the iPhone 5s. The issue happened again today on my wife's iPhone 8. She used what's app for a voice call on mobile, then 1 hour later tried to look at some news again on mobile but there was no internet connection. We first tried to regain access by switching on Airplane mode, then turned it off again, but there again was no internet access. So we restarted the phone as then all was well. The problem hasn't happened yet with my, new to me, second hand iPhone 11. But it can take many weeks before the issue appears again. I'll try the 'about' idea. Standby.
 
I’ve opened iOS setting, general, about with 2 bars of mobile signal available, but nothing came through to do with a carrier setting update. 🤷‍♀️, nor anything else for that matter.
 
Last edited:
I’ve opened iOS setting, general, about with 2 bars of mobile signal available, but nothing came through to do with a carrier setting update. 🤷‍♀️
You have to go in the about menu. If there is no carrier settings update available, nothing will happen. If there is one, a popup dialog will inform you.

I highly recommend you get two new SIM cards. You may have defective SIM cards. Try that and report back.
 
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