KT Freetel, South Korea's second-largest telecommunications group, launched a music download service May 24.

KT Freetel, South Korea's second-largest telecommunications group, launched a music download service May 24.

The Dosirak music portal offers a catalog of 900,000 songs, licensed from local record labels. Subscribers can opt for a $5-per-month download fee or a $3 monthly charge for a streaming service. Music content can be downloaded to cell phones.

KTF has also signed deals with three of Korea's most prominent digital music player manufacturers - Samsung Electronics, Cowon and MPIO. Through the agreements, Dosirak users can transfer music files to those companies' music players.

KTF says it hopes to sign up 300,000 users by the end of the year.

KTF comes relatively late to the national online music portal business. LG Telecom launched its Music-On online service last December, while rival SK Telecom started its MelOn download store last November.

The Korean Assn. of Phonogram Producers -- the rights organization responsible for collecting royalties from services online music services -- predicts that South Koreans will spend more than $300 million in 2005 on music downloads to handsets and computers, compared with $185 million in 2004.