The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. One of the dangers of viewing the telecom industry from the national level is that we lose sight of what is happening at other planes. Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS) and SaskTel, for example, may not garner the same attention as other large ILECs, but that could change now that both companies have become prime takeover targets.  MTS has taken baby steps beyond its borders by partnering with Bell Canada to create Bell Intrigna. The eastern Canadian telco holds one-third of the shares in the company, while MTS owns the rest. Bell also has a 20 per cent stake in MTS. But its three members on the MTS board is a larger representation than a one-fifth holding warrants. MTS has finalized its transformation from a provincially held crown corporation to a private concern. It has paid off a $427-million debt to the Manitoba government and is applying for certification under the provincial corporations act. Bell would no doubt love to increase its percentage in the company. In doing so, it would be following the precedent it set by boosting its stake in Atlantic telco Aliant from a controlling share to majority ownership. SaskTel is still owned and regulated by the provincial government. But this June it will finally shift to the CRTC's jurisdiction. The government of premier Roy Romanow must decide how long it can continue to hold onto the company as a public entity. SaskTel offers little of substance to would-be buyers, but much in bragging rights. Saskatchewan, with its small population spread across vast territory, cannot provide outside telcos with huge profits. But Telus could augment its status as a national player by purchasing it, presenting a bulwark against the Bell juggernaut. Bell could cement its reputation as the telecommunications leader in this country, especially if it adds MTS to its fold. The deer and the antelope may no longer play out on the range, but telecom lawyers and investment bankers may soon be seeing much more of Winnipeg and Regina than they ever thought likely.