Data Communication Equipment
Data Communications Equipment
(DCE) The devices and connections of a communications network that connect the communication circuit between the data source and destination (the Data Terminal Equipment or DTE). A modem is the most common kind of DCE.
DCE and DTE are usually connected by an EIA-232 serial line. It is necessary to distinguish these two types of device because their connectors must be wired differently if a "straight-through" cable (pin 1 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 2 etc.) is to be used. DCE should have a female connector and should transmit on pin two and receive on pin three. It is a curious fact that many modems are "DTE" according to the original standard.