Virgin Media has announced it is to offer "enhanced email services" to its 4 million home broadband customers in partnership with Google.

The broadband, phone and cable company says the new Google-powered @virginmedia.com email service will be one of the largest deployments of Google Partner Edition apps to date.

With up to 7GB of online storage, Virgin Media customers will also get what Gmail users get - advanced email search, mobile email, instant messaging, spam and phishing filters and can have up to 10 @virginmedia.com addresses per household.

The service is available now to the first 20,000 to sign up with a full launch planned soon.

Existing @blueyonder.co.uk, @ntlworld.com or @virgin.net customers will be transferred across but can chose to keep their existing email addresses if they wish.

This follows the recent launch of Virgin Media's "V Stuff" service that offers auto-backup, online storage and photo printing.