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Call screening comes to cell phones

Listen into someone leaving you a message on your phone for $4-a-month.

CallWave, a provider of telephone service features, on Tuesday will introduce a $4-a-month call-screening service that lets you listen in as someone leaves you cell-phone voice mail. Users have the option to interrupt the message-leaving for a conversation, or redirect the call to any number of other phones. CallWave said the service is available regardless of carrier, type or phone or phone service plan.

Wireless operators are eager to debut new applications--such asCallWave's, or watching television on cell phones--because of a grim economic reality. Major markets have been saturated with cell phones during the last decade of spectacular growth in U.S. cell-phone subscriptions. Fierce competition has also triggered cut-rate voice calling plans.