45 foreign firms are reportedly interested in acquiring a stake in Algérie Télécom. The country’s Minister of Post, Information and Communications Technology, Boudjemaa Haichour, says the privatisation file has now been passed to the Government General Secretariat before being submitted to the cabinet. Created in 2001 as a joint stock company, Algérie Télécom remains Algeria’s dominant fixed line operator. It 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 in the country’s number two mobile operator, Mobilis, which had more than seven million subscribers at the end of 2006. The government is offering around 50% of the firm to a strategic investor.