IMHO - Battlefield 4 lasting because of rental servers is what is causing EA to drag its feet on rentals... they want to have a new game money machine that they can control by sunsetting games, e.g. shutting down servers they own.
The rest is obviously a case of marketing deciding features with yes person development managers. Seen it a lot of time with tech projects. Either no one believes the developers saying we can't do this in the time or the developer rep not wanting to impose reality on upper management.
My guess is that they will also encourage Premium Access as a pay to play method by charging for some of the 'promised' features unless you have it. Every game company is envious of the WoW model where people keep paying for a game.
Not that that would be bad.. if they committed to a strong permanent bug / feature team that would add new maps to a game every month, I would probably pay for that. Its one reason I played CoD2 for years. All the custom maps and servers rotating them.
IMHO, and I'm going out on a limb here, Even with third party servers EA made money on rented servers . Not as much as they made self hosting but still made money. A lot of folks bought BF4 after its shelf life was up to play with veteran players as well. I would HOPE that the reason the servers are not being released at launch is to prevent the clusterf**ck that was the RSP in BF1.
The way that was handled cause a great many clans to simply abandon the franchise which hurt its longevity compared to BF4. They would need to be blind and willfully ignorant to ignore the fact that the lack of clan support hurt BF1 a LOT.