By Stuart Condie

SYDNEY--Telstra attracted tens of thousands of new mobile users from rival Optus following an hourslong network outage at its Singapore Telecommunications-owned rival, Telstra Chief Executive Vicki Brady said.

Australia-listed Telstra on Thursday said that it added 933,000 new mobile services across the December half, lifting total mobile services by about 4%. That compared with 848,000 mobile services added in the same period a year earlier, when the relaxation of Covid-related restrictions led to a surge in international tourists and students.

Brady said that the Nov. 8 outage at Optus, which left millions of mobile and landline customers including hospitals and government departments without services, had probably accounted for "tens of thousands" of Telstra's new users.

"It's brought to front of mind that it's about real resilience and reliability. We know we're all reliant on connectivity, whether it's in our personal lives or in our businesses," Brady said on a call with analysts.

Analysts had previously speculated that the Nov. 8 outage -- which followed a software upgrade by Singtel -- could boost perception of Telstra as a reliable network operator and help it win market share.

Optus Chief Executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin resigned following the outage and widespread criticism by customers and politicians of the company's procedures and communications. The incident came 14 months after a data breach at Optus exposed millions of former and current customers' personal information.

Brady on Thursday said that Telstra had enjoyed a similar bump in mobile users from the Optus data breach.

Write to Stuart Condie at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

02-14-24 1858ET