When people talk about 10Gbps home broadbands today, many of its associated terms such as “symmetrical speeds”, UltraSpeed or XGSPON can be awfully confusing for the average homeowner.

But don’t fret. If you’re having problems making heads or tails of these, then this guide is perfect for you. From the “what”, to the “why”, and even the “how”, we’re here to clear it all up so you can get right into enjoying life with ultra-fast internet speeds.


What is the UltraSpeed Network?

"It’s not broadband. It’s Broadest Band."

Built on cutting-edge XGSPON architecture, the UltraSpeed Broadband Network brings more than just faster uploads and downloads. Constructed specifically to manage multiple high-intensity WiFi loads simultaneously, it’s like going from driving on a 2-lane highway to a 10-lane highway in both directions, and with wider lanes too. This means lesser congestion, faster speeds, and no lag regardless of who’s doing what on the network!


The Tech behind UltraSpeed: XGSPON

But what makes the UltraSpeed Network tick? This is where we introduce our first acronym: XGSPON.

The 10 Gigabit Symmetric Passive Optical Network architecture, more commonly referred to as XGSPON (or 10G-XGS-PON in some cases) by the tech crowd, is the most cutting-edge fibre optic network technology currently available.

Broadly, it is an evolution of the existing GPON architecture that most household broadband offerings are built on, offering lightning-fast 10Gbps speeds for all sorts of different tasks. Dgtl Infra provides an excellent deep dive into the topic if you’re interested in finding out more about the technical aspects, but here, we’ll be looking at two main areas: How XGSPON compares to GPON, and what exactly the deal is with “symmetrical speeds”.

XGSPON vs. GPON Networks

Fundamentally, what makes XGSPON architecture stand out from its GPON counterparts are the “speed limits” placed on your downloads and uploads.

Here in Singapore, the everyday home broadband (which uses GPON architecture) usually caps out at 2.5Gbps for downloads and 1.25Gbps for uploads. This cap is why downloading content always feels faster than uploading it, but XGSPON raises the maximum limit to a whopping 10Gbps, leading to folks referring to it as “10Gbps broadband”.  

Max Download Speed (Gbps)
10 2.5
Max Upload Speed (Gbps)
10 1.25
Offers Symmetrical Speeds?
Yes No

What are symmetrical speeds?

At this point, you might have noticed a clear difference between the download and upload speed limits for GPON networks – that is, 2.5Gbps vs. 1.25Gbps respectively.

That’s because GPON networks are what we call “asymmetrical”, meaning data doesn’t flow at the same speeds in both directions. On the other hand, XGSPON networks allow users to download and upload content just as quickly at a maximum of 10Gbps, and thus offer “symmetrical speeds”.

What can I use 10Gbps speeds for?

Before XGS-PON came along, the 1.25Gbps GPON cap on upload speeds primarily affected those who needed to upload large amounts of content regularly. Additionally, the lack of bandwidth usually meant that one user’s online activity would negatively affect other users on the same network.

Yet, today we upload more content to online clouds than ever before, not to mention many of us are practically connected to the Internet 24/7. With how often we use services like Google Drive, cloud gaming or TikTok, uploading content has actually become just as normal and frequent as downloading it, so let’s take a closer look at what you’ll be able to do (faster!) with 10Gbps broadband speeds.


1. Swiftly Upload High Quality Content

Ask anyone who’s ever done professional content creation, and they’ll probably tell you how much of a pain it can be to upload projects to a digital cloud.

High quality file uploads like 4K resolution videos can be upwards of several hundred gigabytes in size, so uploads often take anywhere from hours to even days on conventional 1Gbps broadbands.

So, imagine being able to complete such tasks in a fraction of that time – that’s what 10Gbps speeds can do for you. Aside from boosting your work productivity as a whole, it’ll also leave you with less stress, and a lot more time to do other things that you enjoy.

Like gaming, for instance.


2. Lightning-fast Downloads for AAA Games

Today’s games are big.

And by big, we mean absolutely monstrous.

According to Game Rant, the largest AAA game available is ARK: Survival Evolved, which stomps in at over 250GB of disk space. Normally, such games would take an eternity to finish downloading on regular 1Gbps or 2Gbps speeds, and that’s already assuming nobody else at home is taking up bandwidth.

In such cases, having faster speeds would pay dividends in the long run – you’ll be able to hop into your new games as quickly as possible. Plus, you’ll also get better mileage out of cloud gaming services like NVIDIA GeForce NOW, because nothing goes better with butter-smooth 4K resolution gaming at 120fps than a lightning-fast connection.


3. Link up (more) Smart Home Devices

These days, almost every device in our homes is digitally integrated in some way. From our phones to our refrigerators, the "smart home" market is growing exponentially, with research firm Statista projecting the Singaporean market to generate over $168 million U.S. dollars in annual revenue by 2027.

That’s certainly a good thing – after all, more smart devices mean more conveniences for us in general. However, as the number of devices pile up on your home network, there will come a point where your regular 1Gbps pipeline begins to struggle, and when that happens, upgrading to 10Gbps speeds won’t just be an option, but a necessity. 

Better, Broader, Stronger: Zip along with UltraSpeed 10Gbps

With so many things you can do (better) running at 10Gbps, why not keep the ball rolling with an equally robust broadband subscription?

That’s where our UltraSpeed 10Gbps and Optical Network Router come into play. Bringing back the highway analogy from before, this subscription provides you with the fastest available sports car to drive, plus an UltraSpeed-compatible router of your choice to pair with it.

As for the actual installation work – feel free to leave that to our skilled HubTroopers when they swing by. They’ll be happy to address any queries you have on the setup, and on our end, here’s some additional background information that might come in handy.

What is the WiFi Optical Network Router?

The Nokia 10Gbps Optical Network Router (WiFi ONR) is a next-gen model that performs exceptionally well with an UltraSpeed subscription.

It offers 1x 10G LAN port, 3x 1G LAN ports, WiFi 6 Mesh support, and a total combined bandwidth of up to 6,000 Mbps – that’s 43% more than the average router.

How exactly are these routers different?

Unlike regular routers, the ONR allows fibre optic cables to be directly connected to it, thereby skipping the need for a modem. Simply put, this means fewer checkpoints for your data to pass through between your devices and the digital cloud, resulting in faster overall speeds.

What will I need to get my UltraSpeed 10Gbps set up?

At the basic level, you can get access to UltraSpeed via WiFi out of the box, or connect to it using a Category 6a, 6, or 5e Ethernet cable. There's no need to fret over this, though - our friendly HubTroopers will be delighted to assist you.

However, to really maximise what UltraSpeed 10Gbps has to offer, a solid-state drive (SSD) desktop with a wired 10Gbps port like the Apple Mac Studio would be ideal. PC users can replicate this with an external Thunderbolt 2 10Gb adaptor OR a customised setup, such as those from Aftershock.


Should you get a 10Gbps Broadband?



Between faster data transfers, smoother online experiences and higher efficiency across the board for all sorts of different digital tasks, the short answer is yes.

Considering our growing reliance on today’s smart devices and digital content as a whole, the average household might soon need far more bandwidth than what our existing subscriptions can comfortably accommodate.

Yet, regardless of which broadband option you choose, rest assured you’ll be in great hands with StarHub and the UltraSpeed Network. We’re continuously working to bring you even better and smoother experiences for you and your loved ones, and we hope this guide has cleared up most of the questions you might have had on the topic.

So, as always, take care, stay safe, and happy surfing!


If you’d like to take a closer look at any of the aforementioned products, feel free to stop by our UltraSpeed page.