Xoom 4G upgrade could take more than six days

Users of the Motorola tablet will need to send it in to get the upgrade to LTE

Users will have to send their Motorola Xoom tablets away for a week in order to upgrade them to 4G, Verizon Wireless said this week.

The Xoom, the first device to run Google’s Android Honeycomb OS for tablets, works on Verizon’s 3G network and became available on Thursday.

When Motorola announced the tablet last month, it said users would be able to upgrade it for use on Verizon's 4G LTE network. At the time, Motorola didn’t say how it would manage such an upgrade.

Users can sign up to receive an e-mail notification from Verizon when the upgrade is available. Verizon said it would be “shortly,” while Motorola said the upgrade would happen in the second quarter.

To get 4G, users are instructed to first back up all the data on the Xoom and then send it in to Motorola. They should expect to be without their device for six business days, Verizon said. That means the process could take a week or more, since six business days would encompass a weekend.

There is no additional cost for the upgrade. The Xoom costs US$600 with a two-year Verizon data contract, or $800 without.

While there are other Android tablets available, the launch of the Xoom is being closely watched because it is the first to use a version of Android designed specifically for tablets. Previous tablets have used older versions of Android that were designed primarily for smartphones.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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