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Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Tech people like to use "G"s to signify the next generation of technology, especially in the wireless world. There was 2G and 3G, today's 4G LTE and now we are on the brink of 5G.

Yes, but: Marketing people are always getting ahead of the technology people, jumping the gun to get an edge on rivals. It happened with 4G as T-Mobile and AT&T started putting the 4G label on what was essentially a speedier flavor of 3G. The same thing is happening with 5G, as AT&T is slapping the label "5G E" on existing devices that run on its latest 4G network, which it calls "5G Evolution."

Reality check: True 5G will require new devices to run on the new networks that are only just beginning to show up. The first true 5G smartphones are still a couple months away and will only support 5G in a handful of cities that carriers have picked for their first deployments.

But wait, it gets worse. Today, the research arm of the cable industry, known as CableLabs, is announcing a technology called 10G.

  • No, it has nothing to do with strapping two 5G phones together.
  • Rather it's the industry's term for 10-gigabit networks, the next generation of cable broadband due to start field trials in 2020.

Full disclosure: I'm part of the problem. Later this week I'm moderating a panel on 6G, exploring the use cases and technologies that will eventually prompt the industry to look beyond 5G, which we've barely started implementing.

Go deeper: The next tech wave rides on 5G

Go deeper

DOJ cites discrimination in lawsuit against Texas over voting districts

Attorney General Merrick Garland. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Department of Justice on Monday filed a lawsuit against Texas, alleging Republican state lawmakers discriminated against Black and Latino voters and has "again diluted the voting strength of minority Texans" when they approved new redistricting maps.

Why it matters: A DOJ assessment of the new districts found that they violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act, Attorney General Merrick Garland said at a press conference.

3 hours ago - World

Biden to warn Putin U.S. will add troops in Eastern Europe if Russia invades Ukraine

Putin meets Biden in Geneva. Photo: Peter Klaunzer - Pool/Keystone via Getty

President Biden will warn Russian President Vladimir Putin when they speak on Tuesday that if Russia invades Ukraine, the U.S. is prepared to increase its troop presence, capabilities and military exercises on NATO's "eastern flank," a senior administration official told reporters.

Why it matters: The administration believes it's increasingly likely that Putin will order an invasion.

4 hours ago - World

U.S. announces diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

An Olympic-themed sculpture in Beijing on Dec. 1. Photo: Hou Yu/China News Service via Getty Images

The U.S. announced Monday that it will not send officials to the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in protest of human rights abuses committed by the Chinese Communist Party.

Why it matters: The diplomatic boycott — which won't prevent American athletes from competing — marks a major escalation between the U.S. and China amid already heightened tensions over the CCP's treatment of Muslim minorities, military threats to Taiwan and economic tariffs.