Nokia has announced the introduction of the 6212 Classic mobile handset featuring integrated Near Field Communication (NFC) technology.

NFC is basically an extension of RFID technology that combines tag and reader in a single device.

There are two main benefits to NFC-enabled devices. Firstly, they are able to communicate easily and directly with one another. And secondly, they are also able to communicate directly with other forms of existing RFID infrastructure, such as that used in some public transport systems.

In purely practical terms this means users of NFC-enabled phones will be able to pair their Bluetooth connections – and then share data – simply by tapping the two devices together. Not having to waste time scanning for signals can only be a good thing.

In addition to its phone-to-phone capabilities it will also be possible to load the 6212’s NFC tag with pre-paid ticket credits (or hard cash) for travelling on public transport with – much like O2’s existing O2 Wallet. Better still, it’ll also be possible to purchase additional credit directly over the air, removing the need to stand in a painful queue at the station.

Of course with recent concerns over the security of RFID technology, Nokia are at pains to point out the in-built security measures, including the ability to set password protection for each individual transaction.

In addition to its NFC abilities, the 6212 Classic also boasts 3G, an FM radio, a 2MP camera and a microSD card expansion slot. It’s expected to begin shipping at the end of the summer to selected EU markets.