FIC data

Fast Channel Information

Through this data channel, the DAB+ transmitter transmits two types of information:

  • SI data (Service Information)
  • MCI data (MUX Configuration Information).

SI data can be compared to FM-RDS information, except for “Title” and “Artist” info that is encoded in the HE-AAC audio and thus not in the transmitted FIC data.

MCI data is not known in FM-RDS. Because DAB(+) operates in a flexible manner (different bitrates, different error corrections, different AAC types), the radio receiver must also be informed about the configuration of the transmitted MUX.

The word “fast” is used because the data is not distributed over several broadcast frames (like the MSC). Together with error correction, spreading the information in time makes the signal better for error recovery. But… spreading in time also makes it take longer to receive all the info.
For the FIC channel this would be detrimental because the channel contains the MCI data to decode the MUX (where is the audio data of each station?). So it would take much longer for music to come out of the DAB+ radio. Hence the name “fast(fast)” information channel.

Both SI and MCI data are classified into groups (FIG or Fast Information Groups).