The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Decima Reports. Industry Canada’s decision to immediately rescind the spectrum cap on August 27 caught many in the wireless industry off guard and has left some industry observers confused. They can be forgiven for feeling this way for two simple, but significant reasons.  First the department removed the hard cap at a time when there is no urgent need to do so. The wireless carriers told Industry Canada during a consultation this year that they didn’t foresee needing additional spectrum resources for another couple of years. As Johanne Lemay, co-president of Lemay Yates told Report on Wireless: "There was no sense of urgency from an operational point of view from any of the carriers to get additional spectrum." While some had called for an immediate removal of the cap, without a need for more spectrum it didn’t seem to make sense to make more room under the cap, let alone eliminate it altogether. The only reason one would advocate an immediate elimination of the cap is to facilitate industry consolidation. Department officials are on the record as saying the industry has evolved to a point where competition is healthy enough to no longer warrant a hard cap. That may be true, but the timing of the decision still raises some questions. It seems odd that Canada’s spectrum regulator would make what could be considered a hasty decision when the number three national wireless carrier is trying to wipe the smallest national operator off the map. One could jump to the conclusion that the regulator would prefer a three-player wireless market. The department has always maintained that its sole role is to manage spectrum and make it available in a timely and fair manner, but that must be questioned when its decision late last month removes one of the major obstacles blocking a successful TELUS’ bid for Microcell Telecommunications. Healthy and robust competition evolved under a spectrum cap regime, and there’s no reason to believe that the competitive landscape wouldn’t have continued to evolve in a positive manner under a cap. But now we’ll never know, and consumers could end up paying the price in a less competitive market.