I've written an app that uses google push notifications to install upgrades. The problem is that certain companies that my app is rolled out to, have phones that are running Android 2.3.6. This means that for the push notification to work, a google account must be present on the phone.

One customer only has a limited data plan for his employees and is reluctant to assign a google account to his employee's phone because of the potential data charges.

Would assigning a Google account to a phone incur potential data charges on the phone?

He has mentioned things like emails, spam, links to YouTube. All of these worry him as he thinks the employee may use things outside company purpose.



Yes, assigning a Google account to a phone would incur data charges UNLESS syncing is disabled as it will regularly sync calendars, email, etc. Even so, other data related services may come into play (eg, Play store app update checking & downloading).

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This depends on two factors.

  • Settings > Wireless & Network settings > Mobile networks
  • Data enabled, if that's checked, all internet data goes through the telephony layer and treated as internet data.

The other spot is in - Settings > Accounts & Sync Settings - Background data and Auto-sync are checked, it will chew up the bandwidth (provided Data enabled is checked from the previous spot above)

Then yes, data charges will increase.

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  • 3
    “Use only 2G networks” does not disable data — 2G networks support GPRS and EDGE for data connections. The obvious difference from 3G is the connection speed; another difference is that GPRS and EDGE data connections are temporarily dropped during a phone call, while a 3G data connection can be kept during a call. – Sergey Vlasov Jun 12 '13 at 13:22
  • I definitely can confirm what Sergey wrote: until recently, I had my phone set to "2G only", and still was receiving my mail notifications etc. fine. Also, the data xfer arrows in the notification bar gave prove of an active data transfer, in addition to the G/E symbol for the data connection type (so, that's the "practical proof" -- now for the "theoretical part"). "2G" stands for "second generation" of the GSM standard, using GSM/Edge for data. "3G" is "3rd gen", and uses UMTS/HDSPA etc. for data. "0G" would be "no data", if it would exist :) – Izzy Jun 12 '13 at 14:27
  • Ooops! brain fart there - mea culpa! Just realized... – t0mm13b Jun 12 '13 at 15:42
  • My mentality for the above answer is this - I switch off data when switching over to 2G because its slow so what's the point anyway, that explains my answer in the above! Why would you want to access data over 2G/GPRS/Edge? – t0mm13b Jun 12 '13 at 23:10

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