Ina Fried

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Sprint Announces First LTE Cities and, Prematurely, Its First LTE Phone

Sprint made a bunch of 4G network news on Thursday and some of it was even intentional.

On the intended front, CEO Dan Hesse told investors that the company would launch its first high-speed LTE service before the middle of the year in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Perhaps less intended was the announcement of the company’s first LTE smartphone. However, as spotted by The Verge, Sprint is advertising on CNET’s CES page that the Samsung Galaxy Nexus will be the company’s first LTE phone. Clicking on the phone in the ad does nothing, while a link in the bottom of the ad for more info about Sprint’s LTE plans led to an error page as of Thursday afternoon.

After being early to the game with its WiMax-based 4G network, Sprint is now racing to catch up as it adopts LTE. Verizon already has coverage in a good chunk of the nation, while AT&T announced on Thursday that it is offering service in 11 more cities, including Los Angeles, the New York City Metro area and the San Francisco Bay Area.

I’ve asked the company for more details on its plans for the Galaxy Nexus and whether the ad was meant to go live on Thursday.

Update, 5:50 p.m. PT: In a story on its own site, CNET said the ad was published accidentally.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus