Apple (AAPL) on Sunday released a carrier update to the iPhone 5 to prevent the device from using Verizon’s (VZ) cellular network when connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot. Previously, users had reported some instances where the iPhone 5 was gobbling up data that counted against their monthly bandwidth cap even though they had turned on the phone’s Wi-Fi settings. The carrier update must be installed manually and the phone must be rebooted before the update can take effect. Apple’s full instructions for installing the update are posted below.

UPDATE: Verizon has provided a statement to The Loop explaining that “under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network… Apple has a fix that is being delivered to Verizon customers right on their iPhone 5. Verizon Wireless customers will not be charged for any unwarranted cellular data usage.”

iPhone 5 (Verizon): About carrier settings update 13.1

Summary

An important new carrier settings update is now available for iPhone 5 on the Verizon Wireless network.

Products Affected

iPhone 5

This carrier settings update resolves an issue in which, under certain circumstances, iPhone 5 may use Verizon cellular data while the phone is connected to a Wi-Fi network. Follow these instructions to install the update.
  1. Tap Settings > General > About.
  2. Wait for the following alert to appear:
  3. Tap OK to install the update.
  4. Hold the Sleep/Wake button down until you see “slide to power off”.
  5. Slide to power off.
  6. After the device powers off, hold the Sleep/Wake button to turn your phone back on.

Note: To finish the installation of the update, your iPhone 5 must be turned off and then on again.

After your iPhone restarts, tap Settings > General > About, then scroll down to Carrier and verify that “Verizon 13.1” is displayed.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.