Now that many carriers have switched to usage billing for data, it would be nice to find out if the usage billing is accurate. According to a new study by UCLA computer science PhD researcher Chunyi Peng, billing is not only accurate, after her team studies to major wireless companies.
The carriers accounted for 50% of mobile subscribers, but were not disclosed. Using a data logging Android app, they compared the actual data usage to data billing.
They found that a typical use of a phone could accrue overcharged from 5-7%. The over-counting of data could be caused by the fact that the carriers count the data that is being sent out to the smart phone and not the data that is received by the phone.
The researchers racked up a a charge for 450MB of data they did not use. "We wanted to explore how bad it could be, and stopped after that," says Peng. "There's apparently no limit."
On the other hand, they were able to find a way to receive data which they were not charge for using DNS requests.
The researchers are working with the cell phone companies and developing an Android app to help smartphone users track their data use more accurately, to help them dispute erroneous charges.