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Samsung Galaxy Note 3 demos 300Mbps downloads at MWC

Two technical demos at Mobile World Congress promise a future of faster download speeds for one and all.

A modified Samsung Galaxy Note 3 connecting at 300Mbps
Sarah Tew/ CNET

BARCELONA, Spain -- Qualcomm and KT have been giving delegates at Mobile World Congress a taste of the faster download speeds we can expect to see around the world soon.

Tucked away in the corner of one exhibition hall is KT (formerly Korea Telecom) showing off a modified Samsung Galaxy Note 3 connected to a bunch of computers at its booth. It looks boring, but it represents the future: mobiles capable of downloading data at 300Mbps.

Wander over to the Qualcomm stand and you'll see something more visually impressive: a prototype phone streaming two 4K videos to a TV simultaneously. Both these demos are set up to promote a new technical standard called Cat 6, which Qualcomm says doubles the theoretical maximum speed of current 4G LTE phones to 300Mbps.

Two pieces of 4K video being streamed using a prototype phone. Sarah Tew/ CNET

The demo is happening at MWC in ideal conditions using equipment specially installed for the purpose. That means you won't see those sorts of speeds when the technology is deployed in the real world. But Qualcomm says that Cat 6, plus something called carrier aggregation, will mean most people will see a doubling of whatever 4G speed they get now.

To take advantage of the higher speed, phone networks need to turn on support for it, and you will need to buy a new mobile that contains the phrase "Cat 6" on the spec sheet.

The good news is that it's not years away: Qualcomm says the first Cat 6 phones will be in shops in June.