LAGOS: Nigerian consumers are upgrading their devices to enable anywhere participation in the online world, with smartphones now among the most-owned items and 84% of these being connected to the internet.

Feature phones and desktops are being replaced by smartphones and laptops according to a report by Ericsson ConsumerLab, Internet Goes Mobile: Nigeria, based on face-to-face interviews with 1,653 people aged 15 to 69 in that country.

This showed that Nigerians wanted to be kept up to date on matters affecting them (66% of the working population) and to be accessible at all times (45%). So messaging and calling, browsing and social networking were the most widely undertaken online activities, closely followed by accessing entertainment, mainly music.

Messaging and calling were near universal mobile activities (97% of internet users), while 94% employed their mobile phones to access social network sites and 93% browsed the internet on these devices. The comparable figures for PCs were 44% for social network sites and 50% for internet browsing.

The desire to remain updated and connected leads to frequent switching of connections in search of the best possible services, whether from wifi to mobile broadband or vice versa. And while location is obviously a major factor in these actions, speed and reliability are also important.

The report pointed out that, provided with consistently good quality connections at all times, irrespective of location, Nigerians would spend more time online and remain connected, unaffected by geographically imposed barriers.

Certainly once they have been exposed to good connectivity and better speed they are more likely to want to improve on that further. For example, 33% of 2G consumers showed a desire to upgrade to 4G, but 47% of 3G users wanted to do so.

Nigerians were also very interested in the future possibilities of remaining connected, as around two thirds expressed interest in connected homes and connected cars.

Data sourced from Ericsson ConsumerLab; additional content by Warc staff