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Data Communications Equipment (DCE)

A modem sitting on top of the Earth.  Source: Microsoft.

Data Communications Equipment (DCE) can be classified as equipment that transmits or receives analogue or digital signals through a network. DCE works at the physical layer of the OSI model taking data generated by Data Terminal Equipment (DTE) and converting it into a signal that can then be transmitted over a communications link. A common DCE example is a modem which works as a translator of digital and analogue signals.

DCE may also be responsible for providing timing over a serial link. In a complex network which uses directly connected routers to provide serial links, one serial interface of each connection must be configured with a clock rate to provide synchronisation.

Other common DCE examples include:

  • ISDN adapters
  • Satellites (including base stations)
  • Microwave stations
  • NIC (network interface cards)

DCE is sometimes said to stand for Data Circuit-terminating Equipment.

Click on this link to review the wikipedia resource on DCE.

Next: Data Terminal Equipment (DTE)