Sprint Nextel's prepaid brand Virgin Mobile and regional wireless carrier C Spire Wireless have been quietly testing handset financing programs, the carriers confirmed. Both operators are using the startup BillFloat to support their pilot programs, which are ongoing but expected to end within the next few weeks. The disclosures come a month after FierceWireless reported that Leap Wireless' Cricket and MetroPCS both recently launched handset financing options.
Leap Wireless and MetroPCS both recently launched handset financing options that will allow eligible customers to make a down payment on a smartphone and pay off the remainder in the future. The programs are geared toward helping the prepaid carriers' customers afford high-end smartphones, which the carriers do not subsidize and can cost as much as $500 upfront.