Local Internet portal sites in Korea are struggling to gain an edge by introducing free e-mail services with added features.
Yahoo! Korea, the nation’s leading Internet portal, started to offer
free e-mail service in mid-July, which also includes new functions such as
e-mail filtering that classifies received e-mails automatically, and another
function that enables users to block e-mail messages from strangers’ addresses.
Lycos Korea, which launched its search service at the beginning of this month, is expected to offer and e-mail service that will include wireless
messaging service for delivery of messages to alpha-numeric pagers and
Unitel, one of the Korea’s leading online-information providers which
is affiliated with Samsung Group, is to launch an Internet portal site
this September. The company plans to offer an e-mail service that
enables users to confirm whether the recipients got their e-mails or not.
Industry analysts say that the reason why Internet portals stick to
competition in free e-mail service is that it is believed to be one of the most efficient ways to secure registered members and therefore ad revenue.
Despite boasting millions of daily average page views, popular search engines like Yahoo! Korea were disadvantaged because they had few regular members when compared to the local competition.
At the same time, existing free Web based e-mail services such as
Hanmail Net and Netian are also strengthening their e-mail service in order to keep registered users from shifting to other new e-mail services.
Daum Communications, which has around 2 million registered free e-mail users, plans to add a virus checking function to its existing e-mail service
‘Hanmail Net’ from the beginning of August this year.
Dr. Ahn’s Anti-Virus Laboratories, which is the most renowned computer virus laboratory in Korea, and Daum Communications have recently reached
an agreement to provide Hanmail Net’s registered users with anti-virus
Sources say that the anti-virus service makes an early diagnosis with its program ‘V3’ before users open files attached to e-mails they received.