It can be hard to keep track of all the Gs out there. In the early 2010s, 4G replaced 3G as the standard for cell service, but now there seems people are talking about two different numbers at the same time.
As new technology and connectivity is anticipated for 2020, the decade also ushers in a new era of broadband speeds: 10G. But if 5G is the next step in cellular networks, why is the term “10G” being thrown around now as well?
What Is 10G?
Despite the similarity in branding, 5G and 10G are not referring to the same thing.
5G, like 4G and 3G before it, is the generation of cellular connectivity. Standing for “fifth generation,” 5G promises faster speeds and lower latency for phones using cellular data. 10G, on the other hand, doesn’t describe phone service, but cable speeds.
The “G” in 10G stands for “gigabits,” implying the amount of data expected to be delivered in a single second. When you hear people talk about 10G, they’re not talking about networks jumping ahead five levels, but about home internet speeds getting faster.
Though your cellular data may not be improving by five generations, the leap from current speeds to 10G is still impressive, perhaps even more so.
Current internet speeds in the US average out around 129 Mbps, or megabits per second. That’s just over a tenth of a single gigabit. Gigabit internet speeds are not unheard of in the US, thanks to fiber optic internet, but 10G would be ten times faster than even that.
The National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) first announced its vision for 10G networks at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). While few updates have been released since then, the concept has understandably created a lot of buzz.
How Would 10G Impact Daily Life?
Ten gigabit internet speeds would radically change the way we connect with one another. Internet usage has been growing exponentially for years. There are roughly eight internet-connected devices per person in the US, and this number is predicted to grow to more than 13 by 2022. To keep up with the growing demand of connected devices, internet speeds must increase.
Fiber optic internet is growing more common, especially in large cities, so you could safely assume that one gigabit speeds for most people is not a distant reality. Even that would be a notable upgrade, but it’s nothing compared to 10G.
10G speeds would make video streaming in 4K definition a breeze. It would also improve online gaming experiences, resolving issues of lag and poor picture quality. Cloud gaming services like Google Stadia could reach new heights with 10G internet.
Apart from your home life, 10G could potentially revolutionize your work. Many businesses use online services to run their point-of-sale systems and communicate with employees. With fast enough internet speeds, problems currently experienced with these services could be a thing of the past.
The world of healthcare also stands to benefit from 10G. Faster speeds and stronger signal strength would help remote monitoring services remain secure. Communication between hospitals would improve, allowing healthcare professionals to deliver crucial information without worry.
Although the term 10G does refer to speed, it would affect more than just the speed of your internet. The initiative also boasts greater security, improvements in latency and more reliable connections. Device capacity would increase as well.
When Can We Expect 10G?
It’s safe to say that widespread 10G speeds would have a massive impact across all areas of life. But is such a vast improvement even an achievable goal? After all, most Americans don’t experience even one tenth of 10G right now.
10G most likely will not become the norm for quite some time, but major cities that already have fiber optic internet in place may not be far off from it. According to the 10G platform site, implementing these improvements will not require major changes to be made to existing networks.
While it may seem like nothing more than a distant concept, work towards 10G has already begun. Lab tests for the technology have already begun and field tests are slated to begin later this year. Depending on how smoothly development goes, it’s not outlandish to assume that select areas may start experiencing 10G within a year or two.