Back in October of last year, it was reported that several countries in Africa and the Middle East were excluded from Apple's list of supported countries for FaceTime on the iPhone, iPod touch and Mac. Not only did Apple mysteriously remove mentions of FaceTime from Saudi Arabia's website, they later confirmed through an official document that carriers were blocking video calling on the iPhone and even went ahead to restrict FaceTime for Mac (which doesn't rely on any mobile carrier -- well, unless you tether your Mac to an iPhone) to specific countries in the application's preferences. After months of discussions and hacks to enable FaceTime on African and Middle Eastern handsets, the takeaway was that carriers were definitely putting a lot of pressure on Apple for some reason.
The first step towards FaceTime availability in these countries has finally been taken by Vodafone, which has enabled FaceTime in Egypt with a carrier software update for iPhone. As noted by SaudiMac, the update simply adds a boolean string to the iPhone's configuration file with video calling set to "yes". This leads us to think that carriers can restrict and restore FaceTime at any time with software updates -- something Apple can't apparently control.