This year’s CTIA Wireless won’t feature a George W. Bush/Bill Clinton keynote like last year, but that won’t diminish the importance of the everything-wireless show (though the politically inclined will be happy to know that some former presidential candidates will be in attendance). But why are 40,000 people heading to Las Vegas for CTIA starting April 1st? Surely they’re going to check out the 1,200 exhibiting companies, including the likes of Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sprint, and others—and to check out the future technology trends coming to mobile devices. We can’t go into too much detail of what’s to come next week, but this list should tide you over until Tuesday morning. Top 5 CTIA Trends to Watch: 1. Social Goes Mobile Logging into Facebook on your laptop or home PC is so yesteryear; MMetrics reported in August 2007 that more than 12.3 million consumers were accessing social networking sites from their mobile device. Loads of companies are entering the mobile social networking space and looking to grab young eyes, but they aren’t just looking to port the massive online social networks to smaller screens. Companies like JuiceCaster, ShoZu and BluePulse have their own mobile social networks that let you connect with friends and share your photos and videos directly from your mobile phone. No doubt the demand for networking on-the-go is there; the question is whether or not these services will be able to rival the already established Facebook and MySpace in the mobile space. 2. Share the Broadband If you’re paying for an all-you-can-eat data plan on your cell phone, why not share it with other devices and people? That’s what companies such as TapRoot are thinking. We expect to see a few solutions at CTIA that allow you to take your phone’s 3G data connection and easily expand it out to your laptop or other connected devices. However, given that most wireless providers cap their “unlimited” 3G data plans at 5GB for a single user, we don’t have a ton of confidence that they would let customers turn their phones or SIM cards into hotspots for multiple surfers at the same time. 3. The WiMAX We Have All Been Waiting For According to The Wall Street Journal, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse plans to wrap up discussions with potential WiMAX partners Comcast and Time Warner in time for CTIA. Although the corporate deals are still in the works, we expect WiMAX to be making a splash at the show with new WiMAX-enabled devices and more information on the network as a whole. Fingers crossed, there will be limited access to a WiMAX network in Las Vegas so we can finally get a go at the 4G network. 4. New Mobile Operating System Parade New connectivity and applications need a solid mobile operating system to run on and we expect those operating systems to be the talk of the town at CTIA. Microsoft is rumored to be announcing a new version of its Windows Mobile operating system. Additionally, Google Android handsets are sure to be on display as they were at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month. We’ll be reporting back with all the hands-on experience we can get. 5. Use Your Voice Maybe it’s the success of Microsoft and Ford’s Sync, but loads of mobile-application companies seem set on integrating voice controls for various mobile tasks. However, for whatever reason (poor software, the ambient-noise problem, lack of interest) none of these products in the past have really taken off. We expect at least three companies to give it another go, one on the voice-messaging front and the other two in the voice-powered search camp.