US carrier Verizon unveils Edge early upgrade program to rival T-Mobile and AT&T

US carrier Verizon officially announced on Thursday that it plans to launch an early upgrade program, called Edge, which will go against T-Mobile's Jump and AT&T's Next.

Verizon CFO Fran Shammo first revealed Edge during a call for investors, but then the carrier followed-up with a more formal unveiling complete with details. Verizon said Edge was "a flexible equipment payment plan that spreads the retail price of a phone over 24 months". There will also be no long-term service contracts, finance charges or upgrade fees. 

Read: T-Mobile USA reveals 'Jump' - a semiannual upgrade program for phones, launches 14 July

In other words, Verizon customers can upgrade to a new device after six months if their current handset is 50 per cent paid off. This also provides customers with the ability to pay the full retail price of a phone on a month-to-month basis. The plan, which has long existed to UK consumers via a similar Vodafone UK payment plan, seems like a great deal for Americans at first blush.

Read: 6.1-inch Huawei Ascend Mate lands in UK, exclusively available from Vodafone

However, many reports have already begun chastising Verizon - as well as T-Mobile and AT&T - for its upgrade efforts. Despite criticism of such plans, Vodafone UK has certainly done well utilising the same model. Just today, for instance, the UK carrier announced that it would exclusively offer the Huawei Ascend Mate for free with a £29 a month plan.

The biggest complaint with early upgrade plans among American consumers, though, is that they don't want to pay much more each month just to save on the initial cost of swapping phones more often. Verizon Edge will be available to customers on Share Everything plans starting 25 August.