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America Online to expand e-mail-by-phone service

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NEW YORK — You've got mail — by phone.

America Online is expanding its e-mail-by-phone service with features for checking news, updating online journals and getting wake-up calls.

Through AOLbyPhone, which costs $3.95 on top of regular monthly AOL fees, a computer reads subscribers their e-mail over the phone. Subscribers can send replies by recording a voice message or using the telephone keypad to punch in characters.

Subscribers also can check the latest news, sports and weather information. Beginning this week, subscribers need only speak a command, such as "Headline News," rather than navigate a menu using the keypad.

The service has added free access to directory assistance listings, wake-up calls and reminders on any U.S. phone. Users also now can add audio entries to their AOL Web logs, or journals.