Lycos has announced a 1GB email service, beating Google and Yahoo! to the prize of being the first portal to do so.

The service goes online today and, unlike the service promised by Googlem, Lycos' 1GB offering will be ad free. The service wont be free, however. It will cost £3.49 per month.

Lycos makes much of the fact that it will not be using spyware and claims that users' privacy is promised as it will not be building up user profiles or storing deleted emails.

Lycos Europe vice president Alex Kovach said: "We are delighted to be the first to offer our LYCOS email customers and Internet users a 1GB service. We will be interested to see when our competitors can offer the service that we already provide with a sustainable business model to underpin it. But size is not all that matters."

The announcement follows Google's revelation that it would offer such a service, with Yahoo! following suite. Neither company has put a date on the launch of their service though.