The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Canada’s competitive telecommunications landscape changed dramatically last week, setting the stage for what will likely be further changes in the coming months. The establishment of a new national competitor through the acquisition of Allstream Corp. by Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. should provide a much needed boost to the telephony and data communications markets.  But the combined entity’s possible acquisition of Microcell Telecommunications Inc., as has been suggested by industry observers, would create an even stronger national force with wireline and wireless operations affording Canadians greater choice in their telecommunications services. Microcell isn’t the "pure play" PCS operator it used to be - its joint venture (JV) with Allstream and NR Communications demonstrates that - and would be a natural fit for the combined MTS/Allstream. As Allstream is all too well aware, it can only now enter the small- and medium-sized business (SMB) market, something the company has been unable to do due to the cost structure of either leasing strands from the incumbents or building the network itself. MTS’ acquisition of Microcell would give the provincial telco’s mobility arm an instant national presence with about 1.5 million customers, including MTS Mobility’s customer base of more than 250,000. But it would also gain a marketing-savvy company that has in the past led the industry in innovative packaging. One only has to look at its CityFido initiative in Vancouver for evidence. A combined MTS/Allstream/Microcell would undoubtedly have a portfolio of competitive services second to none, which would include telephony, broadband Internet, wireless and TV services. It would lack a significant presence in the local telephony market outside of Manitoba, but that could be easily solved through the introduction of wireless Voice over IP, something the Inukshuk JV is planning to do later this year. How will Canada’s other three national wireless operators react to this potential deal? Will they increase their marketing and promotional efforts targeting Microcell subscribers in a move to devalue the country’s smallest carrier even more? It is probably too early to say, but the market is about to experience growing pains as MTS Mobility explores, on the one hand, the possibility of exiting the Bell Wireless Alliance and, on the other, national aspirations.