The Samsung Cloud service has been causing high data use errors on a number of Samsung smartphones used in the South Korean market, whereby the service was backing up information on the device over the 3G or LTE network rather than a Wi-Fi network. This has caused customer accounts to use all of their data allowance in a relatively short space of time. The problem has occurred with the three major South Korean cellular networks, SK Telecom, KT and LG U+, which are now investigating the issue in conjunction with Samsung Electronics. At this juncture we do not know the Samsung Galaxy smartphones affected by the issue or how prevalent the problem, nor do we have any reports of similar data use errors impacting other regions of the world.
Samsung Cloud is the name that Samsung have given to their cloud service, which was released at the same time as the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, in August this year. The software service has been added to a number of older Samsung Galaxy smartphones and tablets, including the Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, amongst others, via a software update. Samsung Cloud is used to backup and restore data from customer devices, and may be used to synchronize information across multiple devices connected with the same account, such as text messages. The Samsung Cloud service has the ability to restrict data backups to the Wi-Fi network and it may be this issue at fault, but none of the South Korean carriers nor Samsung have confirmed if this is the case. The latest update is that none of these carriers have released compensation plans for affected consumers nor has Samsung Electronics released an official statement.
Samsung has been investing into cloud services because it is seen as an important part of the company's future business strategy. Cloud-based systems form a cornerstone of other technologies such as smart home products, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence systems and connected cars. Earlier in the year the company bought North American cloud services business, Joyent, to bolster its abilities in this respect. The company must be hoping that the data use error is not a widespread problem impacting thousands or millions of customers. Meanwhile, we would hope that customers have not been handed out data overuse charges.