In a recent year, the most emerging and growing field of research and development is “Internet of Things” (IoT). It is due to advancement in wireless sensor network (WSN) which operate in the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) spectrum band. However, many wireless technologies operate in the same unlicensed spectrum, makes it overcrowded and hence resulted in spectrum scarcity among those bands, the performance of WSN will degrade as their popularity increases. According to FCC report, most of the licensed spectrum is underutilized, sharing of underutilized licensed spectrum among unlicensed devices is a promising solution to the spectrum scarcity issue. Cognitive Radio (CR) is one of the capable technology that allows sensor nodes (as a Secondary Users (SUs)) to detect and use the underutilized licensed spectrum temporarily when Primary Users (PUs) not using it. With recent advances in Cognitive Radio (CR) technology, it is possible to apply the Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) model in WSNs to get access to underutilized licensed spectrum, possibly with better propagation characteristics, but as the existing protocols and algorithms developed for CRNs and WSNs are not directly applicable to CR-based WSNs and required new protocols. In this paper, we present a survey on the novel design of CR-based MAC, identify the main advantages and challenges of using CR technology, and compare the different method of improving energy efficiency. We believe that CR-WSN is the next-generation WSN. In this paper, we also discussed the open issues to motivate new research interest in this field.
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