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Pantech P9070 FCC filing suggests AT&T could be readying 3rd LTE band

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The Pantech P9070 smartphone has just appeared in the FCC's database — and it may have brought some clues about AT&T future LTE plans with it.

Pantech P9070 FCC Illustration
Pantech P9070 FCC Illustration

The Pantech P4100 tablet recently appeared in the FCC's database, and now the P9070 smartphone has joined it — all the while possibly tipping us off on AT&T's future LTE plans. Like the tablet, the new phone supports the LTE bands AT&T currently uses (700MHz and 1700MHz), along with the expected assortment of GSM and WCDMA modes. However, it also carries support for LTE on the 850MHz band, which AT&T currently uses for its 3G service instead.

AT&T hasn't announced any plans to deploy LTE on that band, but as its deal to acquire T-Mobile falls apart, repurposing that bit of spectrum for LTE use does make a certain amount of sense. One of the main drivers behind the attempted T-Mobile acquisition was Ma Bell's claimed need for additional spectrum as it moves to LTE, while Verizon has continued to pick up more for itself, putting even more pressure on the carrier. With Big Red launching LTE service in four more markets just yesterday, AT&T doesn't have much time to waste. It's important to note that there have been no official announcements tying this phone to AT&T as of yet — but the specs have certainly gotten our attention.