Also known as data circuit terminating equipment (DCTE). Equipment that interfaces data terminal equipment (DTE) to a wide area network (WAN), resolving any issues of incompatibility. Incompatibility issues can include signal format (digital versus analog), voltage level, signaling speed, and bit density. DCE includes modems, digital service units (DSUs), channel service units (CSUs), and front-end processors (FEPs). See also analog, bit density, CSU, digital, DSU, DTE, FEP, modem, signaling speed, voltage, and WAN.
(1) (Distributed Computing Environment) Software from The Open Group that allows applications to be built across heterogeneous platforms in a network. DCE includes security, directory naming, time synchronization, file sharing, RPCs and multithreading services. See Open Group.
(2) (Data Communications Equipment or Data Circuit-terminating Equipment) A device that establishes, maintains and terminates a session on a network. It may also convert signals for transmission. It is typically the modem. Contrast with DTE.