The UAE-based telco Etisalat is reportedly considering a bid for Algeria’s national wireline operator Algérie Télécom. The government is expected to sell part of its stake in the operator later this year, although full details have still to be published. Reuters quotes Etisalat’s chairman Mohammad Hassan Omran, as saying: ‘We will pay [upwards] of USD2 billion to USD3 billion, but it will depend on many conditions.’ Algérie Télécom held a monopoly on local telephony services until the launch of the second national fixed line licensee, Lacom, in February 2006. It is also the sole shareholder of the country’s number two mobile operator Mobilis. Etisalat has also been linked recently with a possible takeover of Kuwaiti cellco Wataniya.