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Be future-ready: Going beyond the scope of 5G to provide 10G in connected homes 

By Shirish Nadkarni

A recent headline in a telecommunications magazine hit me in the solar plexus like an express train: “10G – Will it be twice as good as 5G?” My brows wrinkled in perplexity – aren’t we still trying to figure out 5G, which has arrived in an orderly procession behind 2G, then 3G, and 4G? How does one explain this jump from a 5G to 10G?

Alas, the headline was totally misleading, meant to be a prank on the reader. The 5G and 10G mentioned in the report are not connected; they are in different genres!

The “G” in 5G is referred to as ‘Generation’, as in the next generation of technology like 2G, 3G and subsequently 4G. The 10G refers to internet speed, the “G” stands for gigabit, and is closely associated with broadband technology. 

Speed over the internet has become increasingly important as the “Work-From-Home reality” becomes an integral part of our lives. As people stay connected digitally, more are playing online games (44%), using social media (38%) and streaming video (36%), according to a survey conducted in 11 markets in Asia by Nielsen Investigation.

It is no surprise that we are relying on our home networks more than ever before — and now 10G is a reality. Indeed,10G is the cable industry’s vision for delivering a remarkable speed of 10 gigabits per second to homes in Japan, the US and in several countries across the globe.

How fast is 10 Gbps?

With 10 Gbps, you can download a 4K movie in less than 30 seconds, or stream around 1,700 movies simultaneously. To put it into context, the average broadband speed in America today is only 94 Mbps. And 1000 Mbps (Megabits per second) = 1 Gbps  … so 10 Gbps = 10,000 Mbps.

“While both technologies illuminate some hype on their own, one shared expectation of both 5G and 10G Internet is the promise of faster speed, like never before, lower latency and the support of new applications such as AI, AR/VR, IoT, machine to machine communication, etc,” says Alper Turken of CommScope, a company that claims to be pushing the boundaries of communications technology to create the world’s most advanced networks.

“10G is the future-ready broadband network that will power the data-driven Fourth Industrial Revolution, delivering internet speeds of 10 gigabits per second, with the power and capacity to support whatever comes next.”

Until a couple of years ago, 8G or 10G networks were not being used anywhere in the world, even though there were some countries where the internet speed was really good. Nevertheless, good internet speed did not mean that an 8G or 10G network was operating in that country.

Japanese Tier-1 telecommunications operator KDDI had launched 10G symmetrical internet service as far back as in April 2018 with DASAN Zhone solutions equipment. China Mobile in Shanghai tapped into Huawei’s 10G PON (passive optical network) technology in April 2019 to demonstrate a dual gigabit broadband service that featured both wired and wireless gigabit broadband.

Mediacom Communications became the first US cable operator to conduct a field trial of the 10G platform in September 2020. Mediacom provided a firsthand look at the future of connected-living during a smart home event powered by the next generation of broadband technology.

Nokia was recognised for its leadership in the Cable 10G initiative, which was reputed to deliver broadband speeds 10 times faster than those available on existing cable networks in October 2020. The simultaneous progress towards 10G in the cable world and 5G in the mobile world became analogous in many ways.

The following chart gives an indication of hot spots with the fastest internet download speeds in the world today:

RankHot spotsAverage download speed(megabits per second)
1Taiwan85.02
2Singapore70.86
3Jersey67.46
4Sweden55.18

According to a Google report, COVID-19 has accelerated infrastructure developments to accelerate connected homes. CommScope’s Alper asserts that 10 Gbps will allow a person to connect all smart devices in the home.

Soon, 10G will redefine connected home experiences.

From TV streaming to gaming devices, we are seeing a rise in the average number of connected devices in households worldwide. The average number of devices per household in the US is about 10.37, while it is about 9.16 in the UK, according to market intelligence agency Statista.

A separate report from Statista also mentions household penetration for smart appliances in India will be 2.4% in 2021, and is expected to hit 5.5% by 2025. A staggering increase is expected in connected homes, from 19% in 2021 to 62.6% by 2025!

10G is going to play a major role in ensuring that all of these devices work to their full potential – meaning reliable bandwidth and Wi-Fi throughout the home.

The dawn of 2021 has seen CommScope produce the world’s first commercial virtualised 10G-EPON deployment that will enable Japan’s J:COM to power 10G broadband across the country’s residential and business customers.

Network operators are not only focusing on 5G deployments.  They are also testing 10G around the world. CommScope is part of these trials as it works with customers to bring 10G broadband to the consumers and businesses.

“Across the globe, our people and solutions are redefining connectivity, solving today’s challenges and driving the innovation that will meet the needs of what’s next,” says Dan Torbet of CommScope.

“For the majority of operators, the road to 10G is a multi-year, multi-stage journey. But as we look ahead at the next phase of distributed access architectures (DAA), the decision of where to locate the MAC (Media Access Control) address and how to integrate this chosen architecture with other network components and stages of evolution is complicated by a current lack of standardisation.

“A flexible MAC architecture (FMA) will provide immense benefits to the network.”

FMA aims to standardise the way that MAC architectures are implemented throughout the network, regardless of where the MAC resides. The goal is to harmonise the management and control planes across these architectures and to facilitate multi-vendor interoperability as operators begin to invest in their next-generation networks. In turn, this will facilitate the growth and adoption of new network configurations and components. 

“With FMA, operators will be able to select the best solutions from a multi-vendor environment as well as provision, monitor, and manage them, simply and reliably,” says Torbet. “In other words, FMA is an important next step forward in enabling operators to scale out their DAA networks by taking advantage of virtualising the management and control planes.”

Consumers aren’t the only ones who will benefit from the promise of 10G. Industries such as healthcare and education will be able to tap into this technology to improve services and enable applications of the future. 

Question:  When will 10G prevail as we march into the 4th Industrial Revolution … or is the 10 Gbps broadband network just a pie in the sky? Please send your comments to maven@editecintl.com.

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