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Some flights to and from the U.S. were canceled on Wednesday after AT&T and Verizon's rollout of high-speed wireless service. Airlines had canceled more than 320 flights by Wednesday evening, or a little over 2% of the U.S. total, according to FlightAware. 

International carriers that rely heavily on the wide-body Boeing 777, and other Boeing aircraft, canceled early flights or switched to different planes following warnings from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Chicago-based plane maker. 

What is the key reason behind cancellation of flights

US aviation regulator Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had on January 14 said that "5G interference with the aircraft's radio altimeter could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway".

Altimeter measures height of the aircraft above the ground. The band on which altimeter works is close to that on which 5G system works.

Mobile networks have been deployed in more than three dozen countries, but there are key differences in how the U.S. networks are designed that raised concern of potential problems for airlines.

The FAA says there are several reasons why the 5G rollout has been more of a challenge for airlines in the U.S. than in other countries: Cellular towers use a more powerful signal strength than those elsewhere; the 5G network operates on a frequency closer to the one many altimeters use, and cell tower antennae point up at a higher angle. 

The Verizon and AT&T networks use a segment of the radio spectrum that is close to the one used by radio altimeters, devices that measure the height of aircraft above the ground to help pilots land in low visibility. The Federal Communications Commission, which set a buffer between the frequencies used by 5G and altimeters, said the wireless service posed no risk to aviation.

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency said it wasn't aware of any problems on the continent caused by 5G interference. To mitigate airline interference, French telecom providers reduce the strength of their high-speed networks near airports.

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