The term User Equipment (UE) is used in satellite communications and in mobile communications networks such as UMTS, Long Term Evolution( LTE) and those of the 5th generation( 5G) for user terminals. The term user equipment can refer to a smartphone, satellite phone, tablet PC, laptop with UMTS card or any other terminal that is directly connected to the corresponding radio base station of a mobile communications network.
The term user equipment is comparable to the term mobile station in GSM networks. The subscriber equipment is directly connected to the radio base station, which is called NodeB for UMTS and Evolved Node B( eNB) for Long Term Evolution (LTE). The air interface between NodeB and the subscriber equipment is the Uu interface, and for LTE networks with the eNodeB, the LTE-Uu interface.
Synonymous with the term User Equipment (UE) is the term Customer Equipment (CE), which is used in fixed networks such as ISDN and in next generation networks such as Metro Ethernet networks. It refers to the subscriber equipment that is connected to the network on the customer or provider side. In the case of Carrier Ethernet, the customer equipment is connected to the Metro Ethernet network via the User Network Interface( UNI). In this case, it uses the standardized Ethernet data rates of Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet and 10 Gigabit Ethernet.