Phone Plans

The Ultimate Guide to Lively Phone Plans

Kyle Reyes
September 21, 2022

Smartphones offer a lot of benefits. On these tiny computers, users can talk, text, surf the web, download all sorts of applications, stream audio and video, play games, and much more. Unfortunately, all of those features can be difficult to manage, especially for seniors. Enter Lively, a phone company geared toward seniors, gives them a new and affordable phone without all the bells and whistles of a modern smartphone. 

Cell phone plans are constantly changing. With new carriers popping up, the evolution of networks and technology, and each carrier jockeying for users, figuring out which carrier is best for you can be a challenge. It is all too easy to think that it’s not worth the time to delve into whether your current plan is the one that’s best for you, because, well, you’ve been on your current cell phone plan for years. Phone carriers oftentimes make it moderately challenging to switch to another carrier in order to dissuade their customers from leaving. Phone plans can get very expensive, and sometimes it is well worth the hassle to switch to a carrier that will save you money and provide better service to suit your needs. 

There are two major kinds of cell phone providers — the major networks, like AT&T, T Mobile, and Verizon, and MVNOs like Lively. The major networks have their own cell phone towers that they maintain and strengthen to provide the best service they can. MVNOs like Lively use the infrastructure created by one of those major networks to provide the same excellent coverage while offering more affordable plans. This article will cover the ins and outs of MVNOs and how they work with topics including

  • What Lively phone plans bring to the table 
  • What makes Cricket phone plans successful
  • How MVNOs work 
  • Pros and cons of switching phone plans

Lively Phone Plans

Lively’s website is simple and easy to navigate, letting users leave confident that they are getting exactly what they need. Image courtesy of Lively

Lively is a wireless company that is geared towards providing an excellent all-around experience to seniors. While anyone can use their plans, many of their features, their two phones, and a lot of the add-ons are geared towards people of advanced age. Their phones are incredibly user-friendly with a lot of accessibility features, and their customer service is kind, patient, and helpful. 

This section will cover all of Lively’s plans, add-ons, and how their phones, plans, and company structure cement them as the premier wireless provider for seniors. 

Lively Phone Plans

Lively has two major plans with data added on after. In short, they have a limited plan and an unlimited plan on the same 5G and 4G LTE networks that Verizon users enjoy. The phone plans at Lively are all affordably priced and are designed for those who do not need to use a lot of data in their daily routine. Their two major plans are 

  • 300 mins and $0.1 per text — $15 per month
  • Unlimited talk and text — $20 per month

Value Talk and Text

Lively’s value talk and text is best for people who exist apart from their phones, especially from texting. Three hundred minutes is a lot to go through in a month (about 10 minutes a day) but it comes with zero texts. This plan is cheaper than their unlimited plan for the first 50 outgoing and incoming texts, then it is the same as their unlimited plan, getting more expensive for each text after that. 

Sure, saving that five dollars a month is nice, but each text chips away at the savings and it is not a big bank to draw from before it is pushing past and becoming more expensive than their unlimited plan. For just five dollars a month, we recommend getting unlimited talk and text in order to remain certain of the phone bill. 

Unlimited Talk and Text

At $20 a month, unlimited talk and text is not bad at all. Lively is an MVNO which lends them the ability to make plans much cheaper than their competitors. That being said, it is $20 for unlimited talk and text which does not take into account any data, which is added on separately. More on that later. Comparing the two plans that Lively offers, their unlimited plan is much more value for the money, providing security against talk or text overages for just $5 a month. Relative to how expensive phone providers can get, a $20 base bill is not bad at all. 

The $20 a month for unlimited talk and text is a great foundation upon which to build a plan, phone and all. One of the strongest pulls for Lively is everything surrounding their plans. Their phones are designed very well and are a great match for people who aren’t interested in keeping up with all the major smartphone providers. This leaves the data, which is certainly on the expensive side. 

Data Add-Ons

There are five options for adding on data at Lively. 

  • 100 MB — $2.50 per month
  • 500 MB — $5 per month
  • 3 GB — $10 per month
  • 5 GB — $15 per month
  • Unlimited — $30 per month

Data gets very expensive at Lively, but starting with their most expensive combo, unlimited talk, and text paired with unlimited data at $50 they remain competitively priced with other MVNOs on the market. Here are a few other MVNOs and their unlimited plans.

  • Cricket Wireless — $55 per month
  • Boost Mobile — $50 per month
  • Mint Mobile — $30-$40 per month

One big advantage of a lot of the competition is that they offer multi-line discounts. Lively does not have any such discount. Multi-line discounts confer a ton of savings, especially with three or more lines on the account. These family plans create environments where the wireless bill for unlimited plans becomes much more affordable, especially across MVNO companies. While lively does not offer those discounts, they remain competitively priced for single-line plans for both unlimited data and their limited-data options. Let’s take a look at their limited data add-ons.

Lively Limited Data

Their smallest addition is 100 MB for $2.50. While that’s not a lot of data, it allows for users to open maps, e-mail, and other small data applications over the course of the month. After exceeding the data allotment, users pay $0.1 for each MB they use, which adds up quickly. For instance, a 100 MB plan user who goes over spends $5 that month when they hit 125 MB, whereas they could have bought 500 MB for the same price. 

Fortunately, Lively does not do any contracts, allowing users to switch plans each month with no fuss. Don’t sweat it if you go over in data one month and have to pay an overage bill. You can easily swap to a higher data allocation for the next month, or you can pinpoint your major usage times and try to limit that. 

Lively Health and Safety Package

One of the best features of Lively is the Health and Safety Package. There are three tiers, each more expensive than the last and offering more coverage. 

Urgent Response

Urgent response allows users to connect with certified Emergency Dispatch against. They are ready to help with all forms of distress, from medical to being locked out of your home or car. Urgent response is available on all Lively devices 24/7. 

Urgent Care

At Lively, urgent care gives users access to registered nurses and board-certified doctors to help with medical advice regarding symptoms, and prescriptions. Users pay the monthly fee for unlimited access to these professionals with as many questions as they wish. These doctors can help users order or refill prescriptions over the phone. No appointment is necessary.

Lively Link

This service connects users over an app that their friends and family can download to get regular updates about a user’s health and safety. It tracks location and activity, and friends and family can ping the user at any time to make sure everything is okay. 

Personal Operator

Available only on the ultimate plan, Personal Operators are available 24/7 and can schedule rides, give directions, find phone numbers, and otherwise help you as much as possible at any time of the day. These operators are around to ensure that you are safe and are not experiencing abnormal levels of distress as you navigate your daily activities. 

Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)

Since companies like Lively don’t have to upkeep their own network, they can offer much cheaper phone plans! 

Mobile virtual network operators are the names given to all of the phone companies (of which there are many) that operate through another major company's network. The major networks in the United States are AT&T, Verizon, T Mobile, and US Cellular. The major benefit of MVNOs are lowered costs while the major downside is that the major network’s customers get priority during times of high bandwidth usage which results in slower speeds for MVNO customers at that time. 

Over the years, MVNOs became a very popular and viable option for getting a quality phone plan. This section will discuss how they work as well as some pros and cons of using an MVNO instead of a major cellular network. 

How Does an MVNO Work?

An MVNO is a phone company that supplies phone plans but does not have a network of its own. MVNOs piggyback off of existing cell phone towers of one or multiple major network providers. Lively only uses Verizon’s network, but others, like Google Fi, utilize multiple networks depending on where they have the best coverage. This will result in customers either getting assigned a network based on where they are located, or, with certain devices, switching from network to network based on which one is fastest where they are. 

MVNO customers have access to the same high-speed network as customers of the parent network, but since the parent network’s customers are prioritized, sometimes their cellular runs slow.


Lively provides its users with phone plans on Verizon’s network. This gives them the same coverage as Verizon customers, albeit with slightly slower speeds. Lively users benefit from Verizon’s network while being able to get unlimited talk and text at significantly lowered rates. Since lively is a much smaller company, doesn’t have to maintain its own cellular network, and is focused on providing quality service, they don’t have the same running costs as a giant like Verizon.  

Pros of MVNOs

The big pro of an MVNO, like Lively, is that they can offer cheaper plans than major carriers. Alongside that, MVNOs are able to operate in a different sphere. AT&T is competing mainly with Verizon and T Mobile for its customers while Lively is mainly competing with other MVNOs. In terms of service, there are not too many differences between getting your cellular plan through an MVNO and getting it through one of the major providers. 

Lively phone plans are so cheap because they don’t have to run their own network. They can focus on providing high-quality and affordable plans with all of their perks and incredible multi-line discounts since they are an MVNO and not a major service provider. 

Alongside that, MVNOs are not a new kind of service provider. They have provided great service to lots of people for decades, making them, including Lively, a reliable source of affordable phone plans. 

Cons of MVNOs

The major con of using an MVNO is the deprioritized service. When a major company is under stress from high data usage, the MVNOs are the first customers to experience a slowdown in internet speeds. Of course, this does not affect Wi-Fi speeds, just the speed of your cellular data. 

Switching to Lively

Having the right cell phone, like the ones offered by Lively, goes a long way toward ensuring that you don’t get frustrated with the features they provide. 

Lively phone plans come with a list of pros and cons just like phone plans from major networks. They are, however, a different set of pros and cons. Fortunately, the process of switching to a Lively phone plan is very easy and straightforward. Switching away from your current provider can be more of a hassle. 

Lively Phones

Lively has two phones that are the perfect way to use their service. Lively phones are built around accessibility, with options to enlarge the text, read out messages and other text on the phone, they are integrated with Alexa, and have easy-to-press buttons. Altogether, this is the perfect package for someone who is not super comfortable with phones and does not need all the features of other smartphones. 

The phones available at Lively are an incredible option for those looking to switch. They are also very cheap, with the two phones costing $100 and $115, respectively. If, however, you would like to bring your own phone and your phone is unlocked, that works too! You can purchase a Lively SIM card and, as long as your phone is unlocked, switch immediately to their service. Don't hesitate to call their customer service if you run into any problems! 

Keeping Your Number

Good news — switching to a Lively phone plan is possible while keeping your current number and contacts! You can bring your own phone or purchase a new one when you switch, and you can activate it with your current number to save out on having to switch numbers and start from scratch. If you decide that one of Lively’s phone plans is the right place for you, switching can be done all online and with minimal hassle!

The staff at Lively is very helpful and able to work through most problems you may have with your phone or your plan. 

Key Takeaways

Lively is geared toward seniors, and that is reflected in all of their products, plans, and services. Because of this, Lively is an amazing plan for someone who wants those senior-friendly services, but those come at a cost. If you don’t need that extra protection or those low-data plans on accessibility-focused phones then Lively might not be for you. This being said, they are the best wireless provider for seniors, and they tailor the whole experience to seniors. Alongside that, their plans are cheap! Because they are an MVNO, they can offer cheap plans that still have amazing service. 

Lively offers a multi-tiered protection program, with the higher-costing tiers serving as medical assistance when their users need it. While their ultimate tier is very pricey, it comes with amazing features. Part phone plan and part medical service provider, Lively is able to provide a staff of on-demand medical professionals to help their users in every way that they can. 

MVNOs are able to provide cheaper prices because they do not control their own network, rather they use an already established network. This allows there to be a lot of MVNOs who all provide the same excellent service that the major networks do.

Kyle Reyes
Kyles Reyes is a journalist from Pittsburgh, PA that specializes in the wireless industry, phone plan comparisons & advice.