When using mobile phones with data plans, one of the major concerns of the users is to try and keep their data volume low so as not to bump the monthly bill. However, too often users complain that they feel their wireless carriers charge them for more than their actual data usage.

It so seems that such suspicions of the users may not be so wrong, after all. According to a new study at UCLA, the wireless carriers are able to ‘calculate’ the data usage correctly most of the times. However, they may make mistakes at times and when they do, they usually overcount the data usage.

Data leaves from the carrier’s end in the form of packets and is received on a mobile device likewise. However, sometimes data sent by the carrier may lose packets along the way. For instance, when watching a video, it may stream too slowly or lag while playing. Even in such a case, a carrier sends all the data packets for the video but many of them are lost on the way. And so, the carrier will eventually charge you for it.

Such ‘miscalculations’ on the part of the carriers may be as much as 7 to 5 percent of the overall data volume calculation. In a way, this is not exactly a mistake in the calculations but rather, a problem with the method – users ought to be charged for the amount of data they receive, not for the amount that is sent by the carrier.

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