Hot spots, which use Wi-Fi equipment to deliver wireless Web access, have scared away some potential customers because the connections are notoriously insecure.
AT&T says it will try to allay those concerns by locking down hot spots in 20 countries using a(VPN), which many corporations already use to secure other types of remote connections. AT&T plans to sell access inside these select hot spots as part of its overall VPN service, called the AT&T VPN Tunneling Service, by the fourth quarter.
AT&T is not the first company to try to secure Wi-Fi connections using VPNs. Hot-spot service providerhas been pushing VPN protection as well.
AT&T's new security measures are being provided by, a maker of Web-based mobile office communications systems for businesses. AT&T is the first major U.S. carrier to use Gric's hot-spot VPN product, according to Gric. Financial details of the deal between the companies were not disclosed.
Gric competes with iPass.