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Cognitive radio techniques are being applied to many different communications systems. They hold promise for increasing utilization of radio frequencies that are underutilized today, allowing for improved commercial data services, and allowing for new emergency and military communications services. For example, these techniques are being considered by the U.S. FCC for communications services in unlicensed VHF and UHF TV bands. Although traditionally these techniques are closely associated with software-defined radios, many standards such as WiFi (IEEE 802.11), Zigbee (IEEE 802.15.4), and WiMAX (IEEE 802.16) already include some degree of CR technology today. Further advances are occurring rapidly. IEEE 802.22 will be the first cognitive radio-based international standard with tangible frequency bands for its operation. Standardization is at the core of the current and future success of cognitive radio. Industry stakeholders are participating in international standards activities governing the use of cognitive radio techniques for dynamic spectrum access and coexistence, next-generation radio and spectrum management, and interoperability in infrastructure-less wireless networks. This article provides a review of standardization activities for cognitive radio technologies and comments on prospects and issues for future standardization.