Whoa, Galaxy Nexus is coming to Sprint

That's the gist of an advertisement running at CNET right now. It's the "first 4G LTE phone from Sprint", according to the banner advert, on the carrier's, ah, coming-sometime-really-soon LTE network. I dunno if the ad spills a pending CES 2012 announcement or what. But leaks don't get much funnier than this.

On the other hand, Sprint held a little event late this afternoon announcing big, splashy LTE network deployment. I suppose the carrier could offer Galaxy Nexus with LTE capability ahead of the bigger pipes. But the handsome smartphone may look a little old in the tooth when quad-core beauties start selling around the time Sprint offers LTE.

Sprint will offer LTE first in Dallas, Atlanta, Houston and San Antonio sometime in the first half of the year, CEO Dan Hess said today. That's a hell of a big time target. The carrier also plans to improve 3G coverage.

"Within the first half of 2012, Sprint customers should experience first-hand the wide-reaching improvements we have made in terms of boosting voice and data quality", Bob Azzi, Sprint senior vice president, says. "With advanced smartphones and sophisticated wireless modems, our customers are using more and more mobile data, and one of our top priorities is to provide the best technology possible to improve our customers' experience".

I've got to wonder what good the "LTE" will be in Galaxy Nexus between now and then -- and just for a smidgin of subscribers at that. Today, AT&T expanded its LTE network by 11 cities, reaching 26 and 74 million Americans. Verizon's is bigger still, reaching 200 million people and supported by 9 LTE Androids.

Galaxy Nexus already is available from Verizon (I have one), and the LTE performance hugely satisfies (as does the battery life).

I see nothing in today's Sprint LTE announcement about Galaxy Nexus (yet), so I must assume that the CNET ad outs a planned CES announcement. Uh-oh.

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