The onset phase of the 22 October 1989 great solar burst was observed at 48 GHz using the multiple beam technique, which allows unambiguous flux determination irrespective of spatial angular position changes in time. We found strong quasi-periodic pulsating structures as the flux started to rise. Two significantly different time scales of ∼2.5–4.5 s and ∼0.2–0.5 s have been observed. These pulsations might be related to magnetohydrodynamic perturbations in the active region. However the fast component also might be a signature of the acceleration and/or injection of energetic electrons.