The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Telus’ proposed acquisition of Clearnet has certainly put a new spin on Canada’s second ever spectrum auction, planned for November. The consolidation of Canada’s major wireless players from five to four eliminates one well-financed bidder from the auction race, and hopefully gives smaller companies a better crack at win-ning licences in the 14 regions. For its part, acquiring Clearnet gives Telus an installed network and established customer base nation wide. It also lessens the urgency of bidding – at any price – for PCS licences in central and eastern Canada. The company will still make a play for another 10 MHz in markets east of Alberta, but losing out won’t jeopardize its ability to deliver a national wireless service. Ironically, the company that stands the most to lose in this auction is Bell Mobility, which must bid any price to ensure it wins licences in Alberta and BC. Bell Mobility will likely bid for at least 20 MHz of spectrum in each of the 14 regions. And for the markets east of Alberta, it may have little choice but to drive the bidding skyward in hopes of keeping Telus from acquiring any more capacity in its home turf. Another consequence of the Telus-Clearnet acquisition is the emergence of excess spectrum in Alberta and BC. Following the merger, Telus will hold licences to almost 80 MHz of spectrum in the two western provinces, which is nearly 25 MHz over Industry Canada’s spectrum cap. Under the rules, Telus has to dispose of these 25 MHz before it can compete in the auction. Some have suggested that Telus, in the name of cooperation and expediency, will hand over this spectrum to Bell at an inflated yet, reasonable price. But it’s hard to believe that the cat and the dog – being as old as they are – can learn to play nicely. Besides business is business, and Telus’ shareholders should rightly expect Bell to pay handsomely for spectrum it so des-perately needs. Another option is to either raise or even eliminate the spectrum cap. The rule was created to counter the duopoly of Rogers and the telco alliance, and it did. Today, consumers have several choices of wireless suppliers. The spectrum cap could easily be replaced with other safeguards.