Android updates crippling UK users’ data speeds

Some UK operators pushing out Android OS updates over their cellular networks are doing so without notifying users that the download will take them beyond their monthly data allowance.

A number of Android handsets running on older versions of the platform received updates to version 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, last week. However, when the notifications were pushed out, they were typically done so over cellular networks, and users who were not connected to wifi networks at the time had the 250MB-plus download taken out of their data allowance.

For many users, this took them over their data limit, and they are now experiencing a throttled service, with the operator slowing down the rate at which the handset accepts data.

O2, the UK arm of Telefónica, admitted that the updates that it pushes out count towards the user’s data allowance, but said that the onus rests on the user to alter their connectivity settings before accepting the download, to ensure that it does not take them over their limit.

“We recommend that customers who don’t want to use up their data allowance get the update via wifi or the desktop app,” the operator told “It’s pushed out by us but you can choose when to download it.”

Vodafone said that Samsung users had been receiving the update for the past two weeks via Kies, Samsung’s device firmware update portal. However, the operator is now pushing the update to its users over-the-air, but stressed that it does notify users that they should download it using a wifi connection.

“The update is more than 250MB, so as a user, whenever you receive an update stating that the new version is available, you will also be notified that the upgrade is larger than 250MB and told to update over wifi, otherwise you may incur charges from your operator,” a spokesperson said.


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