Data Communications Equipment (DCE)

DCE, or Data Communications Device, is any device that supports data transmission over a serial telecommunications link.

What is DCE (Data Communications Equipment)?

Any device that supports data transmission over a serial telecommunications link. Typically, data communications equipment (DCE) refers to modems, Channel Service Unit/Data Service Units (CSU/DSUs), multiplexers, and similar devices. The purpose of a DCE is to provide termination for the telecommunications link and an interface for connecting data terminal equipment (DTE) to the link.

The term ┬źDCE┬╗ specifically refers to serial transmission, which generally occurs over links such as a local loop Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS) connection, an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) line, or a T1 line. An example of a DCE is an analog modem, which provides a connection between a computer (the DTE) and the local loop POTS phone line (the serial transmission line). A DCE accepts a stream of serial data from a DTE and converts it to a form that is suitable for the particular transmission line medium being used. The DCE also works in reverse, converting data from the transmission line to a form the DTE can use.