Historically, tumultuous times offer some of the best opportunities to buy stocks, and the market's recent mess surely qualifies. It's been restructuring for years now, but many investors find wireless service provider Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) an attractive investment these days.

In our Motley Fool CAPS community, nearly 78% of the 1,810 investors rating the company are bullish, so there's no shortage of reasons why Sprint Nextel will thrive, three of which I've highlighted below.

But here at the Fool, we're all for looking at both the good and the bad sides of an investment. Once you're done with this article, you can read the case against the stock, weigh in with your own comments below, or rate Sprint Nextel yourself in CAPS.

1. Prepaid focus
Sprint's recent buyout of Virgin Mobile has given a boost to its prepaid subscription offerings in a fast-growing segment of wireless that even Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) wants a piece of. Some investors believe Sprint's growing prepaid subscriber count will help offset its loss of post-paid subscribers, and though pre-paid customers have traditionally been shunned by carriers in favor of contracted customers, the saturated contract market in the U.S. makes the prepaid segment more attractive these days.

2. 4G
Sprint already has its 4G service in multiple markets across the country and is aggressively expanding to new cities. Its ownership in Clearwire -- which also counts Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) as investors -- has helped Sprint gain an edge over competitors AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which are also working on 4G networks of their own. Some CAPS members believe the jump to the next generation will bring new revenue opportunities and the potential to attract new customers too.

3. Free cash flow
Despite Sprint's challenges in trying to return to profitability, the third-largest wireless provider has a solid record of producing cash flow, ending up free cash flow positive for eight of the past ten years. The inflows of cash have helped it grow its cash and short-term investments balance to nearly $6 billion, giving more investors confidence in its ability to improve its balance sheet.

To see details of what CAPS members are saying now about Sprint Nextel, just click on over to Motley Fool CAPS and have a look -- or add your own thoughts directly to this story in the comments box below.

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Fool contributor Dave Mockhas three new reasons to peruse the toy section this holiday season. He owns shares of Intel. Google is a Rule Breakers pick. Intel, Sprint Nextel, and Wal-Mart are Inside Value picks. Intel is a Motley Fool Options recommendation. The Fool owns shares of Intel. The Fool's disclosure policycan be traced back to ancient South American tribes.