You probably already know that 5G is a widely used abbreviation for a version of mobile network standards. (Also, that it’s the most current standard in use.) That “G” slapped next to the number means “generation.” It’s not a reference to the download or upload speeds you get on your cell phone.
You also may have already seen the advertisements about Comcast’s new 10G Xfinity network blanketing the airwaves and other platforms. And since the Xfinity website doesn’t really clarify what “10G” really means, you might assume that the company’s home internet service is a faster version of 5G.
That’s likely what Comcast’s marketing team wants. But don’t let them confuse you. “10G” is a reference to 10Gbps, or the maximum speed the Xfinity broadband network is capable of. You’re reading that right: It has nothing to do with cellular network terminology (like 5G) whatsoever, and Comcast’s service is for home internet, not mobile. It’s deeply misleading.
In fact, Xfinity’s 10G network is actually slower than 5G. A 5G network is capable of zippier speeds, up to 20Gbps download and 10Gbps upload. Xfinity caps out at 10Gbps down and up.
Comcast’s offerings become even more complicated when you consider what’s currently available—most customers can only get about 1 Gbps down as the maximum speed, with an absurdly asymmetrical upload speed of 35Mbps (yes, megabits). Faster uploads are slowly rolling out to different locations, but you only get access by opting into the company’s $30/month xFi Complete add-on, which includes unlimited data. Oof.
Long story short, take Comcast’s boasts about its new network with a huge grain of salt. Many people will probably think a 10G network is better than a 5G network, but it’s just not the case—at least here. Meanwhile, AT&T’s “gigillionaire” advertising campaign may be hard to sit through, but at least the language isn’t tricky to understand.