Microsoft plans a limited partnership with the UAB Mobile Communications and Technology Lab, according to a source familiar with the plans.
The deal will be limited to one new device per month.
Microsoft will only sell a single smartphone with the limited partnership.
Microsoft said that the limited agreement is aimed at providing more than just smartphones.
“We are excited to be partnering with UAB to develop a device that provides the broadest range of mobility options for UAB’s network,” said Matt Gurney, vice president of Xbox, in a statement.
“The Lumia 1520 and Lumia 1540 will allow the Microsoft ecosystem to seamlessly connect across multiple platforms and devices.”
The UAB deal comes as Microsoft looks to expand its mobile business, including by making Lumia devices in China, a move that could lead to Microsoft’s return to the Chinese market.
In February, Microsoft announced that it had entered into a $3.5 billion, five-year deal with Xiaomi, a company that has aggressively grown in China and other emerging markets in Asia and Latin America.
That deal includes licensing of Microsoft’s Bing search engine and other products to Xiaomi.