I know what you\u2019re thinking. \u201c6G? He wants to blather on about 6G, when we barely have 5G?\u201d\n\n5G resources\n\nWhat is 5G? Fast wireless technology for enterprises and phones\nHow 5G frequency affects range and speed\nPrivate 5G can solve some problems that Wi-Fi can\u2019t\nPrivate 5G keeps Whirlpool driverless vehicles rolling\n5G can make for cost-effective private backhaul\nCBRS can bring private 5G to enterprises\n\n\nPoint taken. But 5G\u2019s seemingly interminable rollout should not preclude wildly premature and breathless anticipation over its successor. Let\u2019s face it, the time will come when we\u2019ll all be complaining about the limitations of puny little 5G. Plus, isn\u2019t wildly premature and breathless anticipation the essence of technology publishing?\nThe first thing to know about 6G is that it\u2019s still in the conceptual stage. Standards are several years away, and deployment may not come until 2030. Nonetheless, there is good reason for enterprises IT professionals to be excited about what 6G will enable once it\u2019s widely available.\nWhile a new generation technology standard for cellular broadband networks comes along every 10 years or so, \u201cthis one is different,\u201d according to a new IDTechEx report, 6G Communications Market, Devices, Materials 2021-2041.\n\u201cFor the first time, 6G will provide power with the signal so batteryless devices arrive,\u201d IDTechEx writes. \u201cThe Internet of Things (IoT) moves from puffed to possible in billions, nodal energy harvesting moving from hopeless to adequate. With 6G, sensing, positioning, and distributed intelligence are central to the basic concept and design.\u201d\nI\u2019m not even sure what all of that means, and I\u2019m not about to shell out $5,995 for the full IDTechEx report to find out. But delivering power with a wireless signal would be transformative in itself. Liberating connected devices from the need to supply their own power will make managing a large network of connected devices infinitely easier. Presumably this also means lower energy costs along the network edge.\nMaking 6G a reality, however, will require more than standards. \u201cMuch of the essential new hardware needed does not exist,\u201d IDTechEx writes. \u201cThink software-programmable metasurfaces, adequate THz transistors, and solar drones in the stratosphere for five years at a time.\u201d\nIt\u2019s a safe bet these technologies eventually will become available; only the timeline is unclear. IDTechEx estimates $1 billion was invested in 6G hardware and software in 2020, with many billions more to come from early 6G movers Nokia, Ericsson, Siemens, Intel, and Telefonica, as well as from venture capitalists funding startups.\nSamsung also foresees big things coming from 6G. In a 2020 white paper, the electronics giant laid out a vision of 6G that included truly immersive XR (a combination of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality), high-fidelity mobile holograms (a market Mordor Intelligence expects to hit $7.6 billion by 2023), and digital replicas (exact virtual copies of physical entities).\nAll of the above require considerable bandwidth, not to mention computing power. Estimates of 6G network performance range up to 1TB per second\u20141,000 times faster than 5G. Mobile holograms? Digital replicas? At those speeds we should demand nothing less than teleportation.\nIt will be exciting when 6G finally arrives, just as it will be exciting when 5G finally arrives. Kidding (not kidding)! For now, we\u2019ll just have to be patient until the next premature 6G post.