Motorola begins Xoom LTE upgrades Thursday

The upgrade should take about six business days, Motorola said

Motorola Xoom users on Thursday will finally get a promised free hardware upgrade so they can use Verizon's 4G LTE network.

When Motorola introduced the tablet in January it said users would be able to upgrade to the faster network, and shortly after it said the upgrades would happen in the second quarter. Motorola has since admitted that it has struggled to develop equipment for LTE networks.

Device upgrades are usually software-based, so users can receive them over the Internet. But in this case, users will have to send their devices to Motorola to get new hardware. The company said it will take about six business days.

Customers don't have to pay for the process or change their data plans. Xoom users can visit a Verizon website for instructions.

Motorola also said anyone can buy a 4G Xoom at Verizon stores starting Oct. 13 for US$500 with a two-year contract.

The Xoom was the first device to run Google's Android Honeycomb OS, designed for tablets, but many more have since launched.

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

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