Network carrier Verizon Wireless and Motorola Mobility announced that the Motorola Xoom 4G LTE upgrade will be available for existing Xoom tablet customers beginning Sept. 29. The companies also noted the Xoom 4G LTE will be available in Verizon Wireless Communications stores and online beginning Oct. 13 for $499.99 with a new two-year contract.
Xoom owners can visit the Verizon Wireless Website for complete instructions and to begin the 4G LTE upgrade process. Customers who signed up for email alerts will receive an email notification with instructions, and customers should expect to get their updated Xoom with 4G LTE back in about six business days. The 4G LTE upgrade is free of charge, and customers do not have to change their current data plan when upgrading to 4G LTE. Verizon said customers are encouraged to back up any personal information prior to shipping.
The faster speeds and connections are designed to enhance the Xoom's user experience, allowing customers to download songs in seconds and movies in minutes. Verizon said customers should expect average download speeds of 5M to 12M bps and upload speeds of 2M to 5M bps in 4G LTE mobile broadband coverage areas. When customers travel outside of a 4G LTE coverage area, the Xoom automatically connects to the Verizon Wireless 3G network, enabling customers to stay connected from coast to coast.
The tablet features a 10.1-inch widescreen HD display and 32GB of built-in storage (actual formatted capacity is less), with a microSD card slot supporting an additional 32GB. The device runs Google's Android 3.2 "Honeycomb" operating system, which supports Google Mobile Services including Gmail, YouTube, Google Talk, Search, Maps, Movies, Books and the Android Market for downloading applications.
Other features include a dual-core 1GHz processor; Adobe Flash 10 for enabling the delivery of rich Flash-based Web content, including videos, casual games and applications; a 2-megapixel front-facing camera for video chats over 4G LTE, 3G and WiFi; and a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash.
Xoom customers will have the option to choose one of the following mobile broadband data plans: $30 monthly access for 2GB monthly allowance, $50 monthly access for 5GB monthly allowance, and $80 monthly access for 10GB monthly allowance.
Verizon also recently announced an expansion of its 4G LTE network, turning on the network in 26 additional cities and expanding its network to San Francisco, Indianapolis and Cleveland/Akron, bringing the company's 4G LTE network to a total of 143 markets across the United States. In addition, the company is working with rural communications companies to build and operate a 4G LTE network in those areas using the tower and backhaul assets of the rural company and Verizon Wireless' 4G LTE equipment and 700MHz spectrum.