Buyers of the recently launched Motorola Xoom media tablet could be lured by marketing copy that states the device is "LTE ready". Since its unveiling at International CES 2011 in January, Motorola remained tight-lipped about the specifics for upgrading the 3G slate to 4G LTE service.
Could it be done via a software upgrade? Would an LTE modem module be sent to the Xoom owner for a field upgrade? It ends up that none of these scenarios will occur.
The Motorola Xoom has to be sent back to Motorola by the end-user for a module replacement, according to a Verizon Wireless "Getting Ready" for 4G LTE webpage.
The recommended process includes creating a backup of Xoom data on a Windows or Mac PC, wiping (erasing) sensitive data or encrypting it, and packaging the Xoom in a specially-made box and FedEx envelope.
Verizon Wireless and Motorola expect the LTE module upgrade and return shipping process should take no more than six business days to occur.
The "return to factory" upgrade process is not expected to cost the Xoom owner any additional money, but it does cause an inconvenience - for those who are not able to use the device, the risk that one's tablet gets lost or damaged in transit, and those looking to use the media tablet outside of the Verizon Wireless network on a different LTE network or ownership outside of the US.