Six questions about mobile phone traffic: where did my traffic go?

  "I went to the business hall on Saturday and found that nine out of ten were asking: Where did the traffic go?" Liu Qicheng, a well-known communication expert, lamented in a circle of friends. This is just a microcosm. According to the data of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, in April this year, the average mobile Internet access traffic reached 3.41GB, a year-on-year increase of 154%. Traffic consumption has long been commonplace and has become the focus of everyone’s mobile phone package. But at the same time, there are also various questions about mobile phone traffic from consumers: Why do you buy more traffic, but my traffic is getting less and less? Why do you send me so much local traffic when I don’t need it at all? There are so many set meals, why isn’t there my dish?

  1 Why do I buy more and more traffic, and my traffic is getting insufficient?

  "The original G was enough for one month, but now it is not enough for 15 days." Many people around are complaining that the mobile phone traffic is not enough, and even many people begin to question the "abnormal consumption" of mobile phone traffic. Some netizens complained on Weibo that they got up in the afternoon and ran away with 19.46GB of traffic. And this abnormal situation is not uncommon. "Stealing traffic" has become a hot word on the Internet. So who stole your traffic?

  Pei Zhiyong, the chief anti-fraud expert of 360, told the Beijing Morning Post that mobile phone traffic is indeed "running fast" now. The first reason is the change in the usage habits of mobile phone users. In the past, we mainly used text to surf the Internet on mobile phones, and the pictures were often compressed very little. Now, pictures, texts and videos are very popular, and often one picture is four or five megabytes, not to mention all kinds of small videos, which will definitely consume more traffic objectively. In particular, mobile phones are heavily used, and when they stay on social software for a long time, videos that are inadvertently clicked will be quietly downloaded to the mobile phone. Secondly, many softwares run silently in the background even if they are not opened, and even update quietly without your knowledge, which also eats up a lot of traffic. For example, he said that the child had just played Plants vs Zombies, and every time an advertisement popped up, he clicked, and as a result, he unconsciously downloaded a lot of software. There is also an abnormal situation in which illegal software steals traffic.

  Fiberhome Lab of 360 Internet Security Center has previously discovered a brush cheating Trojan named StealthBot, which adopts a self-hiding method and a mature simulation click process. Like a batch of invisible robots produced by an automatic factory assembly line, it disguises itself as a system service notification, consumes users’ data traffic through startup modes such as automatic operation and external wake-up, and can automatically update and load the latest version of malicious plug-ins in response to instructions issued by the server. Some user groups with weak security awareness and mobile phone brands with poor security have become the areas with the highest occurrence rate of StealthBot. This only exposes the tip of the iceberg where black traffic is rampant.

  In fact, the era of "not turning off 4G traffic, waking up and moving the house" has long passed. Others question that operators "steal traffic", but this statement is obviously unfounded. Fu Liang, a telecom analyst, believes that it may not be worth the loss for operators to modify the user traffic data. Assuming that operators want to "black" the user traffic, the cost required to transform the system is more than the income brought by stealing traffic.

  It has been reported that in order to verify the accuracy of traffic measurement by operators, the test results of communication traffic detection conducted by Zhejiang Quality Supervision Bureau and Zhejiang Institute of Metrology showed that SIM cards of three major operators were randomly inserted into three multi-standard wireless communication internet traffic monitors, and the same file was downloaded. The number of repeated tests was 10 times, and the deviation values of traffic detection data were all 0.1% to 0.15%. From the comparison of the test results, there is almost no difference from the traffic statistics provided by operators, so the statement that operators adjust their calculation methods to "steal traffic" is not valid.

  Why is there so much local traffic, but we can only watch the national traffic run out first?

  As a patient with severe dependence on mobile phones, Xiao Guo often travels abroad. A package she ordered has 1GB of national traffic, and the operator will also give away 3GB of local traffic. But she found that the national traffic was the first to be consumed, while the local traffic as high as 3GB could not be used. "Why can’t you take the lead in using local traffic when you are in Beijing?" Some users also ridiculed that they received a large amount of traffic from operators at the end of the month, but there was no time to use it.

  In fact, there are many people like Xiao Guo who "the national traffic is not enough and the local traffic is bursting". However, because the operator sets the priority of national traffic use, the priority of off-package gift traffic is lower than that of in-package traffic. That is to say, use the traffic in the package first, and then the traffic in the package is used up, and the donated traffic can come in handy. However, this embarrassment will soon be a thing of the past, because from July 1 ST, the roaming charges will be completely cancelled, and no distinction will be made between the province, the province/local and the whole country.

  The Beijing Morning Post reporter noticed that operators often give users a gift of traffic and often launch some promotional activities to grab traffic. However, some insiders pointed out that in fact, for the current traffic giving method, the given traffic often returns to the original road, and the user perception is not strong. Since it’s a gift, why not just be generous? Xiang Ligang, a telecom observer, pointed out that giving away traffic is more of an operator’s market strategy to attract users. However, I believe that after the cancellation of traffic roaming charges, operators may not be so "heroic".

  3 Say good unlimited package, why speed limit?

  Operators have been clamoring for "unlimited packages" recently, but it has attracted many consumers’ doubts: after exceeding 20G, they will be slowed down and returned to the 3G era, or even the 2G era, and they will be directly stopped after using more than 100G G. Netizens have complained that the Huimin package has hidden routines and operators lack sincerity.

  However, in the industry’s view, it is understandable for operators to limit the speed of unlimited traffic packages, which takes care of the choice of most 4G users to use the network fairly.

  Ceng Jianqiu, a professor at Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, pointed out that under the current network conditions, it is difficult for operators to achieve real traffic without capping. Due to the limited bandwidth of the mobile network, it is likely to cause network congestion if multiple users continue to occupy it at high speed at the same time. Previously, AT&T, an American telecom giant, had launched a package with unlimited traffic and speed, but the result was stopped because the network could not bear it.

  Speed limit is a popular international practice at present, with stepped design — — First, meet the maximum network speed promised by the vast majority of users. After reaching the speed limit, the network speed will drop.

  Now, if the operator really does not limit the speed, what will happen? As you can imagine, many people turn it into a WiFi hotspot for many people to use together, and then the network will be overwhelmed and the internet speed will become "turtle speed". This obviously deviates from the original intention of operators and consumers.

  4 why can’t the inexhaustible phone bill be converted into traffic?

  Consumer Mr. Li calculated an account for the Beijing Morning Post reporter. He is currently ordering a package of 158 yuan from an operator, with 6G of national traffic per month and 700 minutes of talk time. In actual use, the internet traffic is much used, and the traffic is often not enough every month, but most of the call duration is left. "Can the inexhaustible phone bill be automatically converted into traffic?"

  In fact, this conversion model has long been tried by operators. In 2016, China Telecom took the lead in raising the banner of "full flow billing".

  In September, 2016, China Telecom Shandong Branch launched a new mode of full traffic charging, which converted voice and SMS into traffic for charging, and voice and traffic can be converted freely. Among them, 1M is equal to 1 minute, and how much M traffic will be deducted for how many minutes you make a phone call, and there will be no balance of call duration in the package. At the same time, the "domestic traffic" in the package can be converted into "domestic calls". In addition, some other local companies of China Telecom have also tried the water. However, Beijing has not yet been realized.

  In addition, China Mobile also plans to pilot the unit price charging model of flow ladder in some cities.

  However, this model is not popular at present. In Xiang Ligang’s view, full flow billing is technically not difficult, but operators have invested a lot in changing the billing system. Most importantly, with the coming of 5G, the operator’s billing system may be reshaped, so the operator does not have much enthusiasm at present.

  5 why can’t I combine freely, and my package is my decision?

  As a senior mobile phone user, retired worker Lao Li’s confusion is that there are so many packages of operators that people are dazzled, but none of them are my dishes. The ideal model is that I provide the monthly consumption demand, and then the operator tailors the most suitable package.

  Obviously, the tariff that Lao Li wants is a "private subscription" model. In fact, operators have similar schemes. For example, as early as 2013, China Telecom launched a nationwide unified customer-selected tariff scheme — — Building block package. In order to help customers match "building blocks", China Telecom has provided many humanized auxiliary tools, such as flow calculator and flow application examples. The building block package consists of four "building blocks": voice, traffic, SMS and 3G applications. Customers can mix and match freely according to their own consumption needs, and change the package as needed at any time.

  China Mobile and China Unicom also have similar "building block packages", which are designed to freely match voice calls and Internet traffic. However, the space for users to choose is still limited. For example, open the client of an operator and find the package calculator, which recommends the appropriate package according to your consumption and use in recent months, but the minimum recommended voice is 18, which obviously cannot meet the needs of Lao Li’s DIY. Therefore, this service has not achieved real success and popularization in the three major operators.

  Ma Jihua, a senior telecom analyst, pointed out that after years of development, telecom operators are constantly innovating and the package system is huge, which can not only confuse customers, but even business people themselves don’t quite understand it. In this case, it is easy to cause the external performance of price opacity, giving users the feeling that they are being fooled. Packaging consumption allows users to enjoy more affordable prices than single accumulation, but many people have no demand for some additional parts and often feel forced to spend. Even if you use it for free, you still feel uncomfortable.

  6 Why do new and old users treat each other differently?

  With the deepening of speed-up and fee reduction, new mobile phone tariff schemes emerge one after another. Every season, operators will try their best to introduce new selling points to attract users. For example, campus promotion large-flow packages, such as mobile broadband bundled fusion packages. But many new packages that look beautiful are only for new users, and old users are blocked out.

  For example, the unlimited card of Beijing Mobile 68 yuan is only for new users. The most favorable unlimited traffic package that old users can choose is 98 yuan/month, which contains 150 minutes of voice and 20G of domestic traffic. After the traffic is exhausted, the speed limit of surfing the Internet is up to 1Mbps. After the accumulated traffic in the month exceeds 100G, you can continue surfing the Internet, but the speed limit is 128Kbps. Beijing Telecom’s 65 yuan Convergence Package is only for new users, and it needs to be paid for two years.

  It has been a fact for many years that there is a certain gap between operators’ care for old users. Why should new and old users be treated differently? Some operators have no choice but to complain that the market is getting saturated and the growth rate of users is slowing down, and the purpose of many promotions is to grab passengers, so the promotion is strong. However, old users enjoyed the preferential scheme at that time when they accessed the network.

  In November last year, because of the problem of old users switching to Internet packages, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology called on telecom operators to provide convenience for old users to change packages, and not to introduce plans to restrict old users from choosing tariffs, and asked enterprises to sort out and investigate existing tariff plans. If there is any behavior that restricts users’ tariff options, it will be rectified immediately.

  Fu Liang, a telecom analyst, believes that the ideal way is to operate a user from the moment the user enters the door, so that users can feel cheaper and cheaper tariffs and better and better services, instead of attracting users with high preferential policies and then letting them go. In his view, it is still common that old packages are not upgraded or old users still need to take the initiative to apply for outdated tariffs.

  However, in the context of market saturation, "please" old users is the cornerstone of building stability. In particular, port number transfer will be fully implemented in 2020, and it is time for operators to be nice to old users.

  ■ Link

  Tips for saving mobile phone traffic

  Although the traffic charges are getting cheaper and cheaper, many small partners exclaim that the traffic charges are increasing. Especially at the end of each month, the traffic is shy. In fact, there are many tips to save traffic and prevent it from sneaking away.

  1. Download applications through formal channels.

  Applications downloaded from the third-party software market are risky, and some illegal software will steal traffic. Therefore, friends should try their best to download applications in formal channels, such as the mobile phone manufacturer’s own app store, official website, etc., so as to avoid accidentally installing traffic-brushing software.

  2. Turn off the automatic synchronization function

  Turning on the automatic synchronization function of the mobile phone will consume a lot of traffic in the background without your attention, so it is best to turn off the automatic synchronization function or choose to synchronize only under the WiFi network.

  3. Close the background running program.

  Many times when we close an application, we return to the desktop directly. If there are too many internet-connected apps in the background, when they are on standby, they may constantly refresh and access data. Therefore, it is necessary to develop the habit of closing and cleaning up the background operation of apps in time, leaving only the software that needs to be online all the time. This can also improve the running speed of the mobile phone to a certain extent. Nowadays, many mobile phones provide a shortcut to close the application with one button.

  4. Turn off the mobile data of the mobile phone

  When not surfing the Internet or using WiFi, remember to turn off the mobile phone to move data, which can fundamentally prevent the background program from consuming traffic. Especially in the environment with WiFi, although the system will give priority to WiFi, it will automatically switch to mobile data under special circumstances or when the signal is bad.

  5. Restrict the Internet connection of large customers who eat traffic.

  Apple Edition: Open Settings → Cellular mobile network can query the situation of traffic consumption, thus limiting the networking of designated applications.

  Android version: Open the security center in the mobile phone settings, and you can query the traffic consumption of each application, thus restricting the designated applications from connecting to the Internet.

  In fact, the most popular apps are several commonly used apps, which can be found in the data traffic usage of mobile phones. Generally, WeChat, QQ, browsers and game software are all big traffic users. Some measures can be taken, such as: WeChat friends circle small video opens the automatic playback setting in WiFi-only environment; Try to use compressed photos when drying photos in your circle of friends; Try to communicate in pure text, and send less emoticons, voices and short videos; Don’t click on links, short videos, photos, etc.

  6, set the daily flow limit

  It is suggested that the monthly traffic usage limit or early warning should be set in the [Security Center] in the mobile phone settings, so as to find out the abnormal traffic consumption in time.

  7. Pay attention to the application scope of directional flow.

  At present, operators and major Internet companies have launched a number of targeted packages, such as Tencent King Card swiping WeChat, watching Tencent videos and playing the glory of the king, which are free of charge. However, if you occasionally brush a Weibo and send a Tik Tok, you will have to pay an extra traffic fee. When ordering these packages, pay attention to their limited scope.

  8. Multi-operator wool

  At present, operators often launch some activities such as traffic giving, lottery, special offer, etc. on many holidays, and pay attention to official platforms such as operators’ clients, public accounts and Weibo, which are often hit by free traffic. For example, Beijing Mobile client has a regular activity of signing in to send traffic, and can get a total of 160M traffic coupons for free every month. And Beijing telecom can get a total of 300M traffic when signing in.

  Reporter Jiao Likun