Telecoms network equipment maker Nokia has revealed that it may start designing and licensing mobile phone handsets under its brand name in 2016.

The Finnish company said it was looking for a partner who would take on the manufacturing, sales, marketing and customer support for the products.

Nokia says the mobile phones would not reach the market before the fourth quarter of 2016 when Nokia’s agreement with partner Microsoft allows it to use the brand name again.

“We will look for the right partner who can take on the heavy lifting and work closely with us to deliver a great product. As we agreed with Microsoft, the soonest that could happen is Q4 2016 – so it’s safe to say Nokia won’t be back [at least in phone form…] before then,” A Nokia spokesman said:

The company sold its phone business to Microsoft in 2014.