I'm looking at an IP phone system (Sphere) for my company, but am concerned about putting it on the same network as our computers. The Sphere vendor has suggested that we run the phones off of the CAT3 cables we're using for our current PBX. We'd only have to reterminate the cables with RJ45 jacks, and we'd be good to go. I like the sound of this, but am concerned about running IP over CAT3. Several people I've talked to (including the vendor of the other system I'm looking at
- Avaya) are adamant that IP phones over CAT3 are a bad idea.
I know that theoretically it should work, as long as our cable runs aren't too long, but does anyone have experience with doing this? Any guidelines as to how long the runs can be? And - most important - how can I ensure that this will work without actually installing it and trying it out??