Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) is a subscriber or customer-owned terminal that connects to the telephone or data network and supports corresponding voice and data services.
Typical CPE terminals are telephones, modems, fax machines, private branch exchanges, set-top boxes, computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones or mobile phones. There is a terminal classification based on performance, functionality and price level compared to similar terminals. According to this, there are low-end devices, mid-range devices and high-end devices.
Low-end devices are inexpensive devices with a limited range of functions. Their display capabilities in terms of display size, resolution and color variety, and their processing power are below those of the other two device classifications.
Mid-range devices are the middle group of devices between low-end and high-end devices. Their functionality is higher than that of low-end devices, but the depth of functionality is not the same as that of high-end devices. In terms of sales, mid-range devices are the ones that are sold and used the most.
High-end devices are the ones with the highest performance in terms of processing power, memory capacity and current CPU generation. They are equipped with the most and the latest features. They represent the non-plus-ultra. The prices for high-end devices are the highest of the corresponding device group.
As for the actual CPE devices, Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), they support bearer services and teleservices like call setup and signaling. On the Internet, they support all services offered such as Internet telephony, Internettelevision, Internet radio, virtual numbers, voice-to-text and many other services. Peripheral equipment that is not directly related to long distance or IP services is also not called CPE equipment.
In Europe, Customer Premises Equipment is also referred to as Connected Telecommunications Equipment (CTE).