Below is the excerpted article from the Korea Herald.
Portals battle for storage supremacy
Local Internet portals are engaged in a heated race to provide greater storage capacities for their free e-mail services, countering similar moves made earlier by foreign competitors such as Google and Microsoft.
The competition was triggered in February, when CJ Internet Corp. launched its portal site Mym.net and provided e-mail accounts with 100Mb storage allotments, which was the largest capacity among local portals at that point.
The competition will pick up pace in July as major portals rolled out new e-mail products with greater storage and new add-on functions, while advancing their search engines and other online services to lure more customers.
Daum.net, the country's largest Internet portal with 35 million subscribers, upped its free e-mail allowance to 100Mb from its 5Mb starting this month and plans to complete the development of its search engine by July.
Daum's major rival Yahoo!Korea increased its storage limit from 5Mb to 100Mb, while providing 1Gb capacity to premium customers, including subscribers to its online community and 'blog' services. The move follows the decision by Yahoo!'s U.S. headquarters earlier this month to provide its customers 100Mb of free storage and allow a maximum 2Gb space to premium users.
Smaller portals have also been increasing their storage for free e-mail customers. Empas.com upped its 30Mb to 100Mb and offered an additional 100Mb storage to keep old messages and computer files. Dreamwiz.com, which offers 228Mb in storage, topped the competition by launching a free e-mail service that provides virtually unlimited storage, allowing the user to create a 100Mb inbox every time the previous one hits capacity.
"The competition to provide more free e-mail storage in heating up as portal companies are trying to keep their users from defecting to other sites, although we don't expect the migration of customers between free e-mail providers to increase significantly in the short term," said a public relations officer at Daum Communications, the operator of Daum.net.
Amid the increasing online traffic of large files such as video, music, digital images and other multimedia computer files, raising the storage capacity for e-mail accounts has been among the key issues in the Internet portal and search engine market.
Google, the world's most popular search engine, has been running since May a test version of GMail, projected to be the company's first free e-mail service, that provides all users a gigabyte of storage. Major portal companies such as Yahoo, Lycos UK and Ask Jeeves, which previously offered e-mail services below